Philippines - Labor unions, private sector health workers call for hazard pay of P5k/month (FFW)

As the country is entering the extended ECQ for another two weeks, the Federation of Free Workers (FFW) and its health care unions call that private sector health workers be given hazard pay of P5,000.00 or 25% of their salary a month whichever is higher. These health workers in private hospital and medical institutions are not included in the payment of hazard pay under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (RA 11469) but they also deserve such reward for risking "life and limb".

"We call on president Rodrigo Duterte and secretary of labor Bebot Bello to use their ’persuasive power’ to convince managements of medical and health institutions to give hazard pay to their employees who are now in the frontlines in the fight against the coronavirus 2019," said Manuel Payao, RN, who is the Chair of the Trade Federation 8 of FFW for unions in the medical and health, education and services institutions and companies. "Not only health workers but also the janitors and garbage collectors employed in the private sector who continued to serve in this dangerous time," added Payao who is also the Union president of the UERM Employees Union-FFW in Quezon City. Union president Vilma Garcia, RND, of the De LaSalle Health and Science Institute Union-FFW also seconded Payao, "not only persuasion, we will appreciate more if the president or Congress will grant a P25,000 hazard pay incentive to reward health workers who actually reported to work in this perilous time of Covid-19".

"We salute the bravery and heroism of our co-workers in the hospitals and medical institutions but they need some incentive or reward to sustain their bodies and spirits as we are climbing the apex of the fight, " Tiffany Ong of the Iloilo Mission Hospital Employees Union-FFW in Iloilo City. Health workers in the private sector also request to augment their meal allowance for a healthy and strong body as they report to work. FFW also asks the DOH to review the P500/day allowance of volunteer health worker as this is unfair and exploitative. Government needs to upgrade such equivalent to the salary grade (SG) of their functions, like a nurse to SG 15 to 18 or a doctor SG 21 to 24. Last week, president Duterte signed Administrative Order No. 26 granting government personnel who physically report for work during the implementation of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine be entitled to hazard pay