Doctors, celebs implore DOH to up COVID-19 healthcare workers' allowance of PH500/day: "They are soldiers going to war"

by Jet Hitosis
Mar 29, 2020
Bianca Gonzalez (left) and Zsa Zsa Padilla (right) implore the Department of Health to reconsider the PHP500 daily allowance of COVID-19 healthcare volunteers. Bianca says: “To our government, our doctors are worth more than P500 a day."
PHOTO/S: @iamsuperbianca, @zsazsapadilla on Instagram

Halos 600 healthcare workers sa bansa ang tumugon sa panawagan ng Department of Health (DOH) para mag-volunteer sa laban kontra coronavirus disease o COVID-19.

Sa virtual presscon na naganap nitong Sabado ng gabi, March 28, inanunsiyo ni DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergerie na 593 na ang nag-sign up sa DOH Health Warrior portal.

Una nang nanawagan ang DOH sa mga medical professionals at practitioners na mag-volunteer para matugunan ang dumaraming bilang ng nagpopositibo sa virus.

Ang alok ng kagawaran sa bawat healthcare volunteer ay PHP500 na daily allowance saka libreng pagkain at matutuluyan.

Ang tanging benepisyo, makatitiyak ang volunteer ng “insurance of a cash compensation of PHP100,000 to public and private health workers who may contract severe COVID-19 infection on duty, and PHP1 million to public and private health workers who may die fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.”


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Paliwanag ni USEC Vergerie, nangangailangan ng volunteers ang DOH dahil magpapatupad ito ng two-weeks-on-two-weeks-off policy.

Alinsunod sa polisiya, ang bawat healthcare worker ay may dalawang linggong duty, at pagkatapos nito ay dalawang linggong magka-quarantine.

Ito ay upang matiyak na may sapat na bilang ng malulusog na healthcare workers ang bansa kontra COVID-19.

PHP500 DAILY ALLOWANCE FOR A VOLUNTEER DOCTOR

Nasa 593 ang paunang nag-volunteer kahit pa humakot ng pambabatikos ang naturang programa ng DOH.

Marami ang naliitan sa PHP500 daily allowance para sa mga healthcare workers.

Mistulang insulto raw ang halagang ito para sa mga itataya ang sariling buhay upang maligtas sa virus ang mga Pilipino.

Sa katunayan, mas malaki pa rito ang daily minimum wage sa Metro Manila na PHP537.

INFECTIOUS DISEASE DOCTOR CRIES: “PLS HAVE MERCY, HAVE PITY”

Sa Twitter nitong Sabado ng hapon, ni-repost ni Bianca Gonzalez, 37, ang Facebook post ni Dr. Bryan Albert Lim, isang infectious disease specialist.

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Sa post ni Dr. Lim, sinabi niyang napaiyak siya sa “500 pesos (9 US dollars) per 8 hour shift working in a facility filled with COVID confirmed cases.

“These doctors are not just ordinary volunteers.

“They are soldiers going to war.

“Risking their lives each minute that they are in that facility.”

Dahil dito, nanawagan si Dr. Lim sa gobyerno at sa mga senador at kongresista na “pls have mercy, have pity” para i-reconsider ang ibibigay na allowance sa mga magbo-volunteer.

BIANCA, ZSA ZSA APPEAL TO GOVERNMENT

Ibinahagi ni Bianca ang Facebook post ni Dr. Lim kasabay ng parehong apela sa gobyerno:

“Please I beg the National Government to reconsider,” tweet ni Bianca.

“I support our frontliners..

“To our government, our doctors are worth more than P500 a day.

“Please reconsider. [three praying hands emojis] @DOHgovph”

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Ni-retweet ni Zsa Zsa Padilla ang post na ito ni Bianca.

Ang reply ng 55-anyos na singer-actress kay Bianca: “Nakapanlulumo @DOHgovph Gawan nyo naman po ng paraan.”

GK TAN: “WE KNOW THERE IS MONEY. WE DO NOT KNOW WHERE IT IS GOING.”

Bukod kay Dr. Lim, nag-post din sa Facebook ng kanyang opinyon sa issue si Dr. GK Galvez Tan.

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Si Dr. Tan ay isang CT scan and MRI specialist. Anak siya ni Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan, DOH secretary sa administrasyon ni dating Pangulong Fidel V. Ramos.

Ayon kay Dr. GK, hindi ang PHP500 allowance ang issue.

Natitiyak daw niyang maraming doktor ang handang magserbisyo kontra COVID-19 kahit pa hindi bayaran.

Ang hiling ni Dr. GK, idetalye ng DOH kung anu-ano ang mga pinaglalaanan ng pondo ng kagawaran dahil napakaliit ng allocation sa mga healthcare volunteers.

Mababasa sa Facebook post ng doktor: “It's not entirely about how much the DOH is giving.

“It's about how much they may be holding back.

“If this is indeed all they can give, I want them to show us, point by point, peso by peso, why this is all they can afford.

“We know there is money. We do not know where it is going."

Punto-por-puntong inilahad ni Dr. GK ang posibleng pinaglaanan ng DOH ng budget nito, para ma-justify ang pagbibigay ng kakarampot na allowance sa volunteer doctors.

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“Is it going towards better infrastructure, more testing labs, more field hospitals, more community quarantine centers, better transport networks for frontliners and patients?

“Are the savings going towards a massive push towards realigning industries to produce PPEs so hospitals don't have to rely on volunteers and donations?

“Is the money going to pay to expand charity services for patients with non-COVID related conditions whose treatments will have been displaced or delayed?

“Are they going to use the funds to strengthen communities by conducting risk assessments, training community health workers, and tapping local resources?”

“HEALTH WORKERS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN PROPAGANDA AND POLITICAL CAREERS”

Giit ni Dr. GK, ipaalam man lang sana ng DOH sa mga healthcare workers na suportado ng gobyerno ang lahat ng kanilang pagsasakripisyo, kapalit ng sariling kaligtasan.

Binigyang-diin ni Dr. GK: “Let them know that the entire machinery of government and this nation was turned towards helping them win.

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“Let them know they were more important than propaganda and political careers.

“Let them know that this pittance is all that is left in the open hand of a nation that has exhausted everything else."

DOH APOLOGIZES

Nitong Sabado, sa virtual presscon, humingi ng paumanhin si USEC Vergerie sa mga sektor na nagpahayag ng disgusto sa PHP500 daily allowance sa volunteer healthcare workers.

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“Humihingi rin po kami ng tawad kung ang impresyon na naibigay ng 500 pesos daily allowance ay ganito lamang ang halaga na ibinibigay namin sa ating healthcare workers,” ani USEC Vergerie.

Paliwanag ng Undersecretary, PHP500 daily allowance talaga ang ibinibigay sa healthcare workers na nagbo-volunteer tuwing may disease outbreak sa bansa.

Ito, aniya, ay ayon sa DOH protocol.

“Yung 500 po iyan na inilagay natin sa ating protocol, allowance po iyan na inilagay namin para meron po pang-araw-araw ang ating mga healthcare workers.

“Ito po ay ibinase namin sa allowance na ibinigay namin sa ating mga volunteers sa mga nakaraang outbreak response natin na ginagawa,” sabi ni USEC Vergerie.

DOH: MAJORITY OF BUDGET USED TO PURCHASE PPEs

Sinabi rin ng opisyal kung saan napupunta ang malaking bahagi ng budget ng DOH.

Patuloy ni USEC Vergerie: “Sa ngayon po, ang majority ng budget natin ay napupunta sa pagbili ng personal protective equipment o PPEs.

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“Ngayon pong nabigyan na tayo ng supplemental budget ng kongreso, amin na pong inaayos ang paghahati ng pera para mapaglaanan natin lahat ng importanteng bagay.”

Ayon sa Undersecretary, ilalaan ang supplemental budget sa “compensation para sa ating mga healthcare workers, pagbili ng PPEs, pag-aayos ng health facilities, at para sa COVID-19 benefit packages mula sa PhilHealth.”

Binigyang-diin niya, “Ginagawa po namin ang lahat upang ma-address ang lahat ng ito.”

Batay sa latest update ng DOH nitong Sabado ng gabi, 1,075 na ang kumpirmadong kaso ng COVID-19 sa bansa.

Tatlumpu’t lima ang napagaling, habang 68 naman ang binawian ng buhay.

Out of the 68 deaths, 12 are doctors. Ito ay ayon sa tala ng Philippine Medical Association.

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Bianca Gonzalez (left) and Zsa Zsa Padilla (right) implore the Department of Health to reconsider the PHP500 daily allowance of COVID-19 healthcare volunteers. Bianca says: “To our government, our doctors are worth more than P500 a day."
PHOTO/S: @iamsuperbianca, @zsazsapadilla on Instagram
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