Bong Go reaffirms solidarity with healthcare workers

May 21, 2024 People's Journal 45 views

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go reiterated his solidarity with healthcare workers and his firm commitment to help them follow up with concerned agencies the release of their pending Health Emergency Allowance (HEA) as the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, chaired by Go, conducted a public hearing on Monday, May 20.

The session marked the third hearing dedicated to look into the state of public health services in the country including addressing the release of the HEA for healthcare workers in accordance with the law.

“This Committee has been an avenue for healthcare workers in the previous hearings, and it will continue to be a platform for them to voice their concerns. To our healthcare workers, I am one with you in your call to release your much-deserved allowances,” he affirmed in his opening statement.

Go continues to advocate for the timely release of the HEA, a benefit he tirelessly supported to legislate through the Republic Act No. 11712 or the Public Health Emergency Benefits and Allowances Act. Go is one of the authors and co-sponsors of the measure in the Senate.

He highlighted the ongoing struggle of healthcare workers to receive what they have rightfully earned through services they already rendered during the state of public health emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Parati kong sinasabi, sila po ang hero ng panahon ng pandemya. Pinaghirapan na po nila ito. Services rendered na po ito, dapat po ay ibigay sa kanila kung ano po ang nararapat sa kanila. Hindi na sila dapat magmakaawa para sa benepisyo na para naman po sa kanila ayon sa batas,” he passionately stated.

Go also shared poignant stories from his visits to healthcare facilities nationwide, which underscored the dire situation of many healthcare workers. His recent encounter at the Philippine Nurses Association Convention, was particularly telling.

“May mga nurses na naka-alis na po ng bansa, iyong iba po’y namatay na, hindi pa nila nakukuha ‘yung kanilang HEA. Wala ba itong katapusan? Hangga’t hindi nababayaran ang HEA nila ay hindi po tayo titigil,” he recounted, illustrating the critical and ongoing need for governmental action.

During the hearing, Go also took a moment to play a video clip, where the voices of healthcare workers could be heard clamoring for their HEA, and this poignant moment served as a direct reminder to everyone present of the urgency and human impact of the administrative delays.

“Ito pakinggan natin para makarating po sa kanila,” he urged as the room listened to the recorded pleas of the health workers chanting “HEA! HEA!” during Go’s recent engagements.

The hearing also witnessed the commitment of Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Teodoro Herbosa and Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah Pangandaman to prioritize the release of the HEA immediately based on their responses to the questions of Go who asked if the matter is part of their priorities.