Press Release
August 23, 2021

Bong Go calls on DOH to speed up the distribution of special risk allowances and other benefits for medical frontliners

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go echoed President Rodrigo Duterte's urgent pronouncement that the Department of Health should expedite the release of the special risk allowance for public and private health workers who report to work physically in hospitals and other health facilities despite the threats of new COVID-19 variants.

"Nanawagan po ako kay Pangulong Duterte bago pa 'yung programa niya kahapon dahil nagreklamo nga po 'yung mga nasa private na health workers natin, 'yung SRA nila, binigyan ni Pangulo ng 10 days (ang DOH at iba pang ahensya ng gobyerno) na ayusin," shared Go in a radio interview on Saturday, August 21.

"Sabi ko, before 10 days hanapan niyo po ng pondo bayaran niyo na kaagad 'yung mga health workers natin," he added saying that these benefits and allowances are provided by law and should be released immediately.

Amid the current pandemic, Duterte issued a new directive in response to protests from various groups of medical personnel from private hospitals over the non-release of their SRA and the elimination of their other benefits. To pay healthcare workers, Duterte directed Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to use available monies and explore alternative sources of funds.

"I am committed to leading our nation out of this pandemic, with the help of front-line institutions so that we can be victorious. Secretary Duque, bayaran mo. Use whatever money there is," asked Duterte.

Duterte also instructed the Department of Budget and Management to disburse funds for the distribution of benefits to qualified healthcare personnel within 10 days. The President also mentioned that he is willing to use the contingency fund of his office if necessary to guarantee that health workers' benefits be released quickly.

All public and private health workers who are directly catering to or in contact with COVID-19 patients shall receive an SRA not exceeding P5,000 per month. The allowance will be pro-rated based on the number of days that the health workers physically reported for work, pursuant to Administrative Order No. 42 which was signed last June 1 by Duterte.

The SRA serves to recognize the heroic and invaluable contributions of the health workers and mitigate their physical discomfort, distress as well as perils associated with the performance of their tasks according to Go.

The Senator then called on DOH to ensure the proper use of COVID-19 funds and that they reach those they are intended for.

"Sa panahon ngayon, bawat araw, bawat oras, bawat minuto, napakahalaga po. Buhay po ang nakataya dito, ng ating mga kababayang Pilipino. Especially in times of crisis, every single peso counts. Let's work together to save lives," he ended.

Go also stressed that as a Senator, he will continue to monitor the proper implementation of laws and use of public funds especially amid the ongoing pandemic.

"Walang katumbas ang sakripisyo nila at ang iba ay nagbubuwis pa ng buhay upang proteksyunan at makapagserbisyo sa kapwa," said Go.

"Bilang mambabatas, hindi po tayo papayag na may kapabayaang mangyayari lalo na pagdating sa dapat na maayos na pag-implementa ng mga batas," he added.

Aside from this, Go also called on concerned agencies to ensure sufficient funding for hiring of contact tracers and vaccinators, as the President instructed, recognizing their crucial roles in the country's COVID-19 response efforts.

Go stressed that "failure to do so would be a great disservice to their sacrifices as frontliners who risk their lives to save our people and our nation."

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