MANILA, Philippines — The Alliance of Health Workers (AHW) was linked to the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in an article written by Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy on April 7.
Badoy, who is also the Spokesperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Conflict, claimed that the AHW is being used by the communist group to be able to penetrate health facilities in the country including the Philippine General Hospital.
According to the group’s president Robert Mendoza, even he himself is being linked by Badoy to the communist rebels.
Mendoza said they are appealing to President Rodrigo Duterte to back them up to clear their names because they fear for their safety being red-tagged and their morale is hugely affected.
“Kasi kami na nga lang natitira ngayon na humaharap sa pandemyang ito at bakit ireredtag ang mga health workers, in fact, mga government employees kami lahat,” Mendoza said.
The same goes for Filipino Nurses United who is being linked to the NPA by a certain social media post.
The group said instead of insisting on baseless accusations, what the government should address is the distribution of performance-based bonuses of health workers from 2018 to 2020 which they haven’t received until now.
The group also calls on the government to expedite and complete the processing of various benefits such as the special risk allowance and hazard pay under Bayanihan 2.
“Sana yung active hazard duty pay ay gawing 5,000 pesos at yung special risk allowance ay gawing 15,000 pesos para sa lahat ng health workers kada month and hindi lang doon sa covid ward at nasa direct patient,” insisted FNU Secretary General Jocelyn Andamo.
The Health Department, for its part, assures that aside from the protection of health workers, it is doing its best to provide the best compensation for health workers.
“Nabayaran natin at naibigay natin sa mga facilities iyong mga dapat ibayad sa health workers hanggang sa dulo of 2020. Isa iyan sa kanilang mga complaints dahil may mga health workers na hanggang sa ngayon hindi pa nakukumpleto iyong kanilang mga benepisyo noong last year pa noong December 2020,” noted Health Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire. -MNP (with reports from Dante Amento)