Health workers to DBM: Stop the ‘palusot’, ‘release our benefits’

MEMBERS of the Alliance of Health Workers called on the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to stop all the “palusot” and instead approve the release of savings for Magna Carta benefits.

The group issued the statement after the DBM refused to release said benefits. The group stormed DBM office in Manila armed with empty pots and pans to demand the release of their benefits.

“DBM Secretary Florencio Abad ‘explanations’ do not justify the suffering and demoralization we have to endure from decreased laundry and subsistence allowances and delays in our hazard pay since January ,” said Jossel Ebesate, national president of AHW.

“Despite our position papers, dialogue and follow-ups, the DBM to this date has not approved the release of our hospitals’ savings for benefits,” Ebesate said.

“The Aquino government through the DBM is actually violating the objectives of the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers (Section 2) which states: “To promote and improve the social and economic well-being of the health workers, their living and working conditions and terms of employment”.  By decreasing and delaying our benefits, the government is actually attacking our economic well-being and taking away our victories in our struggle for benefits and economic rights,” the group said in a statement.

“We have fought long and hard for our Magna Carta benefits. It is the duty of the government to provide what is rightfully and legally due to us as mandated by the Magna Carta of Health Workers (RA 7305). But the government and the DBM refuse to allot adequate fund for Magna Carta benefits in the national budget and made so many hindrances short of actually removing all our benefits,” said Ebesate.

“First the government cuts the allotment for public hospitals. Next the DBM withdraws from the hospitals the traditional sources of savings like the fund for unfilled plantilla positions. Now the government requires DBM approval for agencies to use agency savings for benefits.”

“The Aquino government and DBM Secretary Abad are so insensitive and callous to the plight of health workers and the poor patients we serve by continually dismissing calls to provide adequate allotment to health and public hospitals.”

“If the Aquino government is really recognizing the noble work of health workers, then instead of finding reasons to limit and decrease our benefits, it should direct the the DBM and the Department of Health to adequately fund public hospitals, health workers benefits, and additional and adequate plantilla positions. This will result to better health services for the people,” said Ebesate.

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