Philippines

Go hails release of more funds for medical workers

PANDEMIC SUPPORT. Senator Christopher “Bong” Go (right) talks to medical workers during the 149th Malasakit Center launch at San Lorenzo Ruiz General Hospital in Malabon City on Nov. 16, 2021. Go is pushing for a measure that will provide health care workers with a fixed allowance when there is a national health emergency or pandemic. (Photo courtesy of SBG)

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) – President Rodrigo Duterte has instructed the release of additional budget to compensate health care workers (HCWs) who contracted Covid-19 to ensure that those serving on the frontlines will have appropriate benefits and financial support they need while fulfilling their duties, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go said in a news release on Saturday.

The President approved the release of PHP1.5 billion that will also cover the meals, accommodation and transportation benefits of 423,314 HCWs who have yet to receive their allowances for the September 15 to Dec. 19, 2020 period.

The chair of the Committee on Health and Demography emphasized the need to guarantee that HCWs are adequately compensated as they risk their lives while helping combat the pandemic.

“As health care workers continue their life-saving work, it is incumbent upon the government to show our gratitude by providing them the appropriate allowances and benefits. Hindi pa natatapos ang pandemya, kaya dapat tuluy-tuloy lang ang pagbibigay natin sa kanila ng mga benepisyo (The pandemic has yet to be contained so we should continue compensating them),” Go said in a news release.

“Almost two years na silang nakikipaglaban sa pandemyang ito. Alam kong pagod na pagod at hirap na hirap na sila kaya hindi tayo dapat magkulang sa pagpapakita ng suporta (They’ve been at it for two years now. I know they are tired so we should always support them),” he added.

Go also reiterated his appeal for the immediate passage of Senate Bill No. 2421, a measure that he authored and co-sponsored, to provide a fixed monthly allowance for health care workers during the state of emergency due to the pandemic.

The measure takes into consideration an earlier bill that Go filed to provide a Covid-19 Risk Allowance in lieu of the special risk allowance and other financial compensation granted under Republic Act No. 11494, also known as Bayanihan 2.

Specifically, it gives all HCWs deployed in high-risk areas a monthly allowance of PHP9,000, while those in medium and low-risk areas will get PHP6,000 and PHP3,000, respectively. (PR)

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