During the Laging Handa briefing, Go said DOH and DBM should no longer wait for President Rodrigo Duterte’s intervention before they act on the concerns that the medical frontliners have been demanding for months already.
“Please don’t wait for President Duterte to be furious again just like what happened when there was a delay in the release of P1 million financial assistance for the frontliners who died because of COVID-19. Officials were suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman because of that,” Go said.
The senator who used to be the personal assistant of the President noted that Congress had already allocated P13 billion for the hazard pay and special risk allowances of the medical workers under the Bayanihan Heal As One Act.
“The Senate also plans to investigate the delay in the release of the hazard pay,” he said, adding that the Senate worked overtime to ensure the early passage of the Bayanihan Law.
“We worked overtime to pass the Bayanihan law so there is no reason to delay the release. Our medical workers need the money and the money is just small compared to the sacrifices of our health workers, including the barangay health workers and those in the public and private sector. Their lives are at stake here,” Go maintained.
Go said the DOH and the DBM has three days to release the hazard pay and special risk allowance of the medical workers.
“So, three days is enough to release the money. I am appealing to hasten the processing as health workers are waiting,” he added.
For his part, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado vowed to act on the complaints of the medical workers.
“The money is with the Department of Health as a joint circular was already signed to pay for the hazard pay and special risk allowance of the medical workers,” he said.