Press Release
June 22, 2020

AMHOP President: Sen. Revilla's S. No. 446 an 'answered prayer' for PH rural health officers, doctors

The Association of Municipal Health Officers of the Philippines (AMHOP) expressed their unwavering support for S. No. 446, "An Act Granting Incentives and Other Benefits to Rural Health Unit Doctors and for other Purposes" filed by Senator Ramon Bong Revilla, Jr., calling it an "answered prayer" that will ease the plight of rural health officers and physicians in the country.

During the Senate Hearing on Local Governance, AMHOP's National President Dr. Clemencia Dilag, who herself hails from Zarraga, a 4th class municipality in Iloilo, revealed that rural doctors only receive P 50,000 as monthly salary, far from the ideal P 80,000 to P 90,000.

"Laws have been passed looking into the benefits and welfare of public health workers. Sadly, it remained in paper. Rural Health doctors should be treated just like any other employees. Sumasahod just like the same heads of offices. Mababa po, despite the fact that our scope of service is beyond office hours. Just like any other government employees, kulang din po ang kinikita nila," she said.

Dilag also stated a number of rural health workers and physicians have not yet received their 10 percent hazard pay and the P 500 per day Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) Allowance during the COVID-19 pandemic. She further added that this may discourage potential doctors from pursuing a career serving the rural health sector due to wage disparities compared to national government hospitals and medical centers abroad.

Upon hearing the support of AMHOP for his bill, Bong Revilla affirmed that granting their long-overdue incentives will help curb the lack of doctors in rural areas, which now stands at 38.6 percent.

"Nakalulungkot pong isipin ang hamon na kinakaharap ng ating rural health officers at doctors sa kabila ng kanilang paglilingkod lalo na ngayong panahon ng pandemya ng COVID-19. Lubos din pong nakababahala ang lumalaking kakulangan ng mga manggagamot sa rural areas sa ating bansa. Huwag na po nating antayin na tuluyang magupo ang rural health system sa ating bansa. Aksyunan na natin ang suliraning ito ngayon pa lang upang maibigay ang nauukol na benepisyo para sa rural health officers natin, at upang mahikayat din ang susunod na henerasyon ng mga doktor na maglingkod sa rural areas sa ating bansa," Revilla said.

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