The biggest labor coalition in the country and its affiliated healtcare workers' federations congratulate the Commission on Audit for doing its constitutional duty.
What’s tragic is, Mr. Duterte opted to throw tantrums over the COA report rather than do the right thing - correct the problems and ensure HCWs are properly cared for…. We definitely deserve a real leader!
"We are grateful to and must commend the Commission on Audit for flagging the DOH and other agencies for the unutilized funds, particularly so that many of health frontliners did not receive their risk allowance and those who died due to CoVID-19 who, until now, their survivors have been waiting for their survivorship benefits under the Bayanihan 1 and 2, " said Willy Pulia of the Makati Medical Center Employees' Union-AFW-SENTRO.
NAGKAISA holds that COA is merely doing its job under the law. President Duterte is out of sync of the rule of law when he criticized COA for doing its mandate. Under the fundamental law, COA has the primary function to examine, audit and settle all accounts and expenditures of the funds and properties of the government including all its agencies and instrumentalities.
"Sec Duque had asserted that all funds are accounted for but many of our healthcare workers from different hospitals have not yet received their CoVid Special Risk Allowance (SRA) from DOH", said Manuel Payao RN, Chair of Trade Feferation 8 of the Federation of Free Workers.
The Nagkaisa had several dialogues with DOLE and one with DOH but this problem of non-payment of SRA has no answer but a refrain of "no fund yet" or "wait muna for some time" yet we have unspent P24B of CoVID funds, Payao who is also the union president of UERM Medical Center Employees Union-FFW added.
NAGKAISA observed that many of our HCWs are demoralized due to discrimination or selective giving of SRA to frontliners. There is need to eliminate the designation of "red" and "green" areas to avoid discrimination as all in the hospital are exposed to the virus, particularly so that CoVID-19 is airborne.
NAGKAISA calls for the passage of Bayanihan 3 and the liberal interpretation of the law in favor of the workers.
Likewise, same hazard pay for workers in public and private hospitals in time of pandemic. And additional quarantine leaves at least 10 days minimum for HCWs who have been affected by the CoVID-19 virus.