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Is there a budget to pay health care workers? Doctor says, ‘We know there is money. We do not know where it is going.’

Panelo said: “Ang lahat ng iyan ay susuportahan ni Presidente kung nandiyan na iyong lahat ng kasangkapan. Kasi kung wala naman eh papaano natin maipapatupad iyon.”

Bianca Gonzalez and Zsa Zsa Padilla strongly pleaded with the Department of Health to reconsider their monetary offer amounting to Php500.00 per day to almost 600 volunteer doctors and other health workers who will be treating COVID-19 patients, as the amount is such an insult to everybody risking their lives to help fight the pandemic.

Even the daily minimum wage in Metro Manila is a little bit higher at Php537.00.

In Dr. Bryan Lim’s heartbreaking post on Facebook, he tried to enlighten the Department of Health to have mercy, pity, and reconsider their monetary offer to health workers. If the budget is not sufficient to increase their offer, maybe the senators and the members of the congress can sacrifice a part of their salary for the meantime and give it to the health workers in COVID centers.

Despite DOH’s monetary offer, Dr. Lim still decided to volunteer just to help COVID-19 patients to recover.

Meanwhile, Dr. GK Tan, a CT scan and MRI Specialist and the son of Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan, former DOH secretary under Fidel V. Ramos, strongly believes that there is enough budget to increase the monetary offer for the health workers, it’s just that the public is not fully aware where the budget is being allotted.

Tan said: “We know there is money. We do not know where it is going. It’s about how much they may be holding back. 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?”

Dr. Tan also insisted that health workers are more important than anything else, specifically more important than propaganda and political careers. All he wanted to convey is that, DOH as well as the government should prioritize the health workers and by providing them a decent monetary offer.

He continued: “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.”

It's not about the money. Not quite. As some colleagues have said, most doctors would have done the job for free. It's…

Posted by GK Galvez Tan on Friday, March 27, 2020

The Department of Health publicly apologized during the virtual press conference as they can only offer Php500.00 per day to each health worker as the majority of the country’s budget were used to purchase PPEs.

“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. 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.”

Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo assured that the Palace is currently planning for mass testing if only the equipment is available as this is the only reason that holds them back to conduct mass testing.



Panelo said: “Ang lahat ng iyan ay susuportahan ni Presidente kung nandiyan na iyong lahat ng kasangkapan. Kasi kung wala naman eh papaano natin maipapatupad iyon.”

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