Govt continues to ignore health workers’ plight—AHW

    The Philippine government had to cut budgets on the country’s healthcare units despite the onslaught of the global pandemic.
    The “die-in-protest” was a decry to the government’s underwhelming support to its public health respondents. The government continuously ignores their condition.

    MANILA, Philipines — Frontliners from the Alliance of Health Workers (AHW) organized a protest in front of the Senate gate on Tuesday to demand a higher health budget from the administration.

    “The actual DOH budget allotment for the Office of the Secretary under the National Expenditure Program (NEP) is only ₱157 billion. This budget is a manifestation of the government’s insincerity to resolve the pandemic,” Benjamin Santos, AHW national secretary-general, said.

    “Likewise, the non-prioritization of health in the national budget appropriation is a gross and criminal neglect of the Duterte administration to ensure people’s health during this health crisis,” Santos stressed.

    “Health budget cuts will only result in further weakening of public health as the government increasingly abandons its primary obligation to protect and promote the health of its citizenry.

    “This has led the people dry of their already meager resources which are not even enough to support a decent life, what more to pay for their health care,” Santos added.

    The group demands the following:
     Increase health budget by allotting ₱2.064 trillion to direct public health services and for COVID-19 response

     Restore the ₱1B MOOE budget cut of GOCC hospitals; and fund COVID-19 benefits amounting to ₱969B for special risk allowance (SRA)

     Active hazard duty pay (AHDP), meal, accommodation, and transportation (MAT) allowance

     COVID-19 compensation benefits of all 1.8M health workers in the 2022 DOH budget

    AHW aired support for the Senate’s decision to defund the National Task Force to End Local Communist Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) from ₱28B to ₱4B to realign the funds for the health workers’ COVID-19 benefits and crucial pandemic response programs. (HMP/The MiNT)

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