Press Release
July 30, 2020

Statement of Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph G. Recto
Regularize, promote frontliners now

How can government reward medical frontliners? Let us count some of the ways. Release of hazard pay, now na. Regularization. Promotion.

As to promotion, kung di pa kaya ng mass testing sa tao, mass promotion muna sa mga nagta-trabaho.

There are two kinds of job promotion. One is through what is called in government-speak as step increase, the other is promotion to the next Salary Grade.

Ang government pay scale ay mayroong, believe it or not, 258 categories. There are 33 Salary Grades (SG), and each SG in turn has 8 "steps", except the highest, SG 33--which has two steps and is occupied by one person, the President.

The monthly Salary Grade of an SG-15 nurse has 8 steps:

1) P32,053;
2) P32,431;
3) P32,814;
4) P33,202;
5) P33,594;
6) P33,991;
7) P34,393; and
8) 34,801.

Although they are in the same SG, a nurse in Step 1 category is paid almost P33,000 lower than what a Step 8 holder gets in a year.

Maraming mga empleyado sa pamahalaan, kabilang na sa DOH hospitals, ang stranded sa kanilang salary step. They have been marooned in that category. Pandemic or not, they deserve to be bumped up the pay scale.

The existing inter-agency government rules call for step increases for meritorious service rendered.

Meron pa bang mas meritorious sa mga health personnel na naglakad papuntang ospital, para sa isang dose oras na duty, na walang bathroom break kasi hindi pwedeng hubarin ang PPE na basang-basa sa pawis?

There is a cabinet full of medals in the uniformed services for exemplary service, even for non-combat missions. Medalists in international athletic competitions are feted with 7-digit cash rewards.

Our health workers stand in the line of fire every day. In a workplace teeming with lethal pathogens, one mistake can be fatal. But there are no Purple Hearts for the wounded white coats.

As of July 28, 4,691 health care workers had been downed by "respiratory distress", from the 4,443 reported three days before, in July 25. That's a surge of 82 a day. One health worker lands in the sick bay every 20 minutes.

Ang dapat ibigay sa lahat ng frontliners ay hindi lang step increase, but promotion to the next rank, or even two SGs higher.

For those who have been laboring for years as casuals, reward them with regularization. If academic qualifications bar the regularization of non-medical but essential staff in hospitals, waive them.

Mayroon bang special forces na "job order" o SWAT na casual na isinabak natin sa giyera? But in the battle of our lives, brave ones with no job security are in the front protecting us and saving lives.

At yung hazard pay, pakibigay na rin po please. Lumiit o lumaki na ang sukat ng hazmat suit, wala pa ring hazard pay.

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