Health workers question timing of HEA funds release

Health workers question timing of HEA funds release
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WHILE welcoming the release of funds for the unpaid Health Emergency Allowance (HEA) of health workers, the Alliance of Health Workers (AHW) on Friday, July 5, 2024, questioned the long delay that attended the payment of the benefits for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic medical frontliners.

In a statement, AHW President Robert Mendoza said the timing of the fund release by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is suspiciously proximate to the forthcoming State of the Nation Address (Sona) of President Marcos Jr. later this month.

"Why is it only now if there was funding available all along? The timing of the release of long overdue benefits is very timely to the upcoming State of the Nation Address by the President," said Mendoza.

"Is it because the administration wants to showcase his accomplishments rather than addressing the urgent needs of health workers?" he added.

Mendoza assured that the latest move by the Marcos administration is not enough to prevent health workers from joining the protest actions come July 22.

He said this is because health workers have more needs that require immediate actions from the government.

"Health workers will join the people’s Sona on July 22, 2024 to convey their legitimate demands to the Marcos Jr. Administration," the AHW head said.

"We are united with our demand for living wage, just benefits, job security, mass hiring of health workers, and the right to health of the people," Mendoza added.

On Thursday, the DBM announced that it will release on Friday around P27 billion to settle the HEA claims of healthcare workers.

Under the Public Health Emergency Benefits and Allowances for Health Care Workers Act, public and private health care workers who served during the Covid-19 pandemic will be entitled to HEAs. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)

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