Press Release
April 14, 2021


Everyone deserves to be taken care of in a hospital, including our health workers. The many abuses our health workers face, despite being our saving grace, are criminal. We have failed to compensate and protect them, both from the virus and misinformed law enforcement. The doctor who was detained in Rizal for not wearing a face shield while biking, the numerous reports of health workers being barred at checkpoints and being forced to pay for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) only show how misaligned our priorities are that we have allowed these to happen at all.

16,185 health workers have already been infected with COVID-19, considering we are already understaffed in human resources. It is like we are punishing them for keeping us all alive. If we keep this up, our healthcare system will die a slow but sure death.

I ask the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Local Government Units (LGUs) to remain vigilant about cases of discrimination against our health workers and our other kababayans, and to immediately remove abusive officials from position and punish them. They should be protecting people, not harassing them.

We insist that urgent priority be given to the bill I filed, Senate Bill No. 1436 or the "Mandatory Protection of Health Workers, Frontliners and Patients Act", to make it clear that discrimination against health workers, especially acts that cause them emotional distress and impede them from their duties especially in an emergency, is a crime against the public's health.

We also ask the Department of Health (DOH) to expedite the compensation for health workers and roll-out the budget for hazard pay, benefits, protective equipment and other needs of the HCWs immediately. Is the DOH overwhelmed o hindi ba sapat ang P13.5 billion sa ilalim ng Bayanihan 2 para sa hiring and compensation of health workers? Dapat sabihin ng DOH kung saan sila nahihirapan para matulungan sila ng gobyerno para full force tayo at makarating na ang pondo sa mga health workers.

We should be continuously hiring health workers and paying what is due to them on time, as we should have been doing from the very beginning. I urge the DOH to ensure the protection of our health workers by providing them with free and periodic COVID-19 testing, immune boosters and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs). Let's walk our talk. It is our basic duty to give them these resources. We continue to insist that officials admit their shortcomings, instead of covering them up. Wag natin iinsulto pa yung mga health workers.

It is inhumane to stay deaf to their pleas.

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