Medical front liners demand for protection and benefits legitimate, militant actions justified

The National Democratic Front (NDF) – Negros in a statement firmly expressed its support to all Negrosanon medical front liners and health workers and joined them in calling for the resignation of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and in making the Duterte regime accountable for failing to grant their benefits such as special risk, meal and transportation allowances.

“Medical front liners and health care workers should be protected and their salaries and benefits must be paid on time both in public and private hospitals,” said Ka Bayani Obrero, NDF-Negros spokesperson.

NDF-Negros expressed grave concern on the welfare of medical front liners and health workers as they courageously and committedly devote their lives to saving more amid the fast-spreading COVID-19 virus stating that “they are overworked yet many of them have not received compensation and benefits that are due them.”

According to Obrero, their demands for protection and benefits are legitimate and their militant actions such as staging mass protests and resigning is a right and is justified.

He further said that the Duterte regime utterly failed to address the welfare of doctors, nurses and all health care providers who are suffering from worsening working conditions, meager wages and lack of compensation.

Overburdened by yearly budget cuts, public hospitals suffer from lack of equipment and personnel, and nurses were only offered Php500 for allowance as volunteers in COVID-19 designated hospitals.

In Negros, reports show that more than 300 medical front liners in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental have resigned due to intolerable oppressive working conditions.

Obrero denounced the Duterte regime for showing complete lack of interest and ability to manage the pandemic.

“The number of daily new COVID-19 cases in the Philippines remains record-high. Almost 2 million got infected by the COVID-19 virus and many have died and yet the Duterte government still refused to realign its intelligence and military funds to fight COVID-19,” he said.

Moreover, according to him, while the Filipino people suffer from lack of public health measures, rising cost of medical treatment, joblessness, loss of income, lack of economic subsidies and growing poverty and hunger, Duterte and his cohorts abused their power to realign billions of pesos of government funds to purchase overpriced medical supplies from favored Chinese companies.

“The Negrosanons and entire Filipino people have had enough of the incompetent and corruption-ridden response of the Duterte regime on the deteriorating public health and socio-economic crisis. The Filipino masses must now unite, go on the streets and manifest their demand for an immediate end to Duterte’s corrupt, criminally-negligent and tyrannical regime,” Obrero concluded.###

Medical front liners demand for protection and benefits legitimate, militant actions justified