Bongbong Marcos orders DOH to look into health workers’ benefits issue
BY 03-042 · JULY 15, 2022
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has instructed the Department of Health (DOH) to look into issues affecting the benefits of health workers in the country, the health agency’s officer-in-charge (OIC) Ma. Rosario Vergeire said Friday.
Vergeire said that as OIC of the DOH, one of her priorities, aside from the government’s COVID-19 vaccination drive and pandemic response, is to look into the issue of healthcare workers’ benefits.
“As we have said yesterday, part our priorities, and as instructed by the President, that we look into these issues that had been hounding the benefits of the health workers,” Vergeire said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.
“We are planning to start discussing these with the healthcare workers and of course looking at our implementing units, looking at the challenges and how we can be able to address this to facilitate the release of the benefits,” she added.
Vergeire said she will pursue additional funding for the benefits of healthcare workers as she admitted that funds for the said program are “lacking.”
Vergeire added that there are also funds that have been downloaded to the DOH’s Centers of Health Development for the benefits of healthcare workers.
“We have also already mentioned during our talk with the president about two weeks ago that this is part of the priority of the department because we still lack funds so we can be able to pursue and continue this provision of funds for our healthcare worker benefits,” Vergeire said.
“Kailangan lang ng additional funds para makumpleto natin at maibigay natin sa healthcare workers. We’re going to pursue this,” she added.
(We need additional funds so we can complete and release the benefits for the healthcare workers.)
According to her, there will be meetings with health care workers to discuss “minor things”, including requirements that need to be met by heads of health facilities for the release of the funds.
“The issues would really be transactional compliance to requirements— some would be that there would be this non-signing of the memorandum of agreement if it’s a private hospital, the liquidation of the previous funds that were given to them,” Vergeire said.
“They have to do that because we are in government and we have to follow the rules and regulations set for these auditing rules,” she added.