The Department of Health has apologized to the public after it was criticized for only giving PHP500 daily allowance to hospital front-liners amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has claimed the lives of over 70 Filipinos within the last month.
In a press briefing on Saturday, Health Undersecretary Rosario Vergeire assured the public that they are working on increasing its compensation for these health workers.
“Humihingi rin po kami ng tawad kung ang impresyon na naibigay ng PHP500 daily allowance ay ganito lamang ang halaga na binibigay natin sa ating health care workers. Hindi po ito mas lalayo pa sa katotohanan,” she said.
(“We ask for your pardon if the impression we gave with the PHP500 daily allowance is that this is how much we value our health care workers. This is very far from the truth.”)
She clarified that the PHP500 allowance was based on what they normally give as a protocol for outbreak response.
“‘Yang PHP500 po na ‘yan ay inilagay sa ating protocol. Allowance po ‘yan na inilagay natin para merong pang-araw araw ang ating health care workers. Ito po ay binase namin sa allowance na ibinigay namin sa volunteers sa nakaraang mga outbreak response,” she added.
(“That PHP500 is our protocol. That allowance is allotted so that our health care workers have something to sustain them each day. This is based on the allowance we usually gave to volunteers during past outbreak responses.”)
The DOH will now be working on increasing the compensation for each volunteer after it had been granted a supplementary budget.
“Ang majority ng budget ay napupunta sa PPEs. Ngayon nabigyan ng supplemental budget, inaayos ang paghahati ng pera para mapaglaanan ng mga bagay tulad ng compensation para sa health workers, pag-aayos ng benefit packages,” she said.
(“Majority of the budget is being put on PPEs. Now that we have been granted a supplemental budget, we are figuring out how to split the money to cover different things such as compensation for our health workers and improving our benefit packages.”)
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