Health workers call for P16-K national minimum wage

By Leilani Junio

July 9, 2018, 5:15 pm

MANILA-- A group of health workers on Monday reiterated its call for the government to fulfill its promise of ending contractualization and heed its plea to set a national minimum wage of PHP16,000.

Members of the Alliance of Healthworkers (AHW) staged simultaneous protest rallies in three hospitals in Quezon City and Manila. The members of the group held the rallies during their lunch break.

AHW public relations officer Eleazar Sobinsky said with the group's mass actions, they are hopeful that President Rodrigo R. Duterte will eventually notice them and include their call in his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 23.

"It is time that health workers will also be given fair compensation and receive the care that they ask from the government," Sobinsky told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

He said what they are asking for is only fair, noting that they are only demanding just half of PHP32,000 a family of six needs to survive as determined by the Ibon Foundation.

He added that if the President had shown its care to the police and military by increasing the policemen and soldiers' salaries even without legislation, he said the Chief Executive should also be sensitive to their concerns as health workers.

He also noted the sacrifices of health workers in nursing the sick and attending to hundreds of patients with only a measly compensation.

"Despite all the hardships, Filipino health workers vow and continue to serve the people and yet the government remains callous to the welfare of the health workers and the patients that they served," he added.

To date, Sobisky said there are 350 job order health workers at the National Kidney Transplant Institute, Philippine Heart Center have 685 contractual workers, 260 at Lung Center of the Philippines, and 700 at the Philippine General Hospital.

He cited that health workers are also hard-hit by hike prices of basic commodities and services due to the implementation of Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law. (PNA)