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Go says 2022 budget must aid health workers

The pandemic is not over yet so we must continue to provide them with benefits.

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SENATOR Christopher ‘Bong’ Go / PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF SBG

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go underscored the need to include in the 2022 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) the allowances of health care workers amid the continuous threat of Covid-19.

“Foremost in this fight, we must ensure the well-being of our health care workers. Their lives are at stake here. Every day they put their lives in danger,” Go said in his manifestation during yesterday’s Senate Committee on Health’s hearing on the Health Care Workers Act.

He recalled many hospitals in Metro Manila, like St. Luke’s Medical Center, Medical City, Cardinal Santos Medical Center, UERM Medical Center, and Philippine Heart Center, have recently reached either full or critical capacity due to manpower shortage.

“This is why President Duterte asked the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to deploy members of their medical corps to reinforce hospitals,” Go pointed out.
The solon emphasized health care workers must be given what they deserve to recognize their sacrifice for the country.

“For the provision of Special Risk Allowance (SRA) for the first part of the year, President Duterte has directed the Department of Health and the Department of Budget and Management to expedite the provision of the mandated allowances,” Go said.

Recently, the President approved the release of P407 million to cover the SRA of additional eligible health care workers.

According to Go, through this, the government will be able to cover the SRA of a total of 117,926 more health care workers since the Chief Executive’s pronouncement.

“The pandemic is not over yet so we must continue to provide them with benefits,” he said.

For this reason, Go said he has filed Senate Bill 2398, which seeks to provide allowances and benefits to health care workers during the state of public health emergency due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under the bill, a fixed monthly Covid-19 SRA for every month that they serve during the state of national emergency will be provided to them.

The senator said the allowance will be in addition to the hazard pay granted under the “Magna Carta of Public Health Workers.”

The bill also provides Active Hazard Duty Pay for public health workers.

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