Malacañang on Wednesday said it respects the grievances aired by healthcare workers through protests to demand the release of their long-overdue benefits and the resignation of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the 1987 Constitution gives all Filipinos the right to peacefully assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.
He also pointed out that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has already released over P300 million in funds for the special risk allowance (SRA) of healthcare workers.
“It is the right of every citizen to air their grievances and of course that is protected under the Constitution. But the special risk allowance has been released,” he said in a Palace press briefing in Filipino.
Roque also acknowledged delays in the release of healthcare workers’ SRA, citing the late release of the list of names of healthcare workers in private hospitals.
“There were slight delays because of the submission of names by the private sector because this special risk allowance was given to all health workers, not just those working in government,” he added.
DBM Undersecretary Tina Rose Marie Canda confirmed that her agency has released last Aug. 25 the P311.79 million for the SRA of both public and private healthcare workers in the country.Spox is right that the SRA, so far, has been disbursed to hospitals. Perhaps it is the actual grant to those entitled that has not been done yet,” she said in Fiipino.