FILIPINO health workers on Tuesday stormed the Department of Health headquarters in Manila to demand their unpaid allowances related to the coronavirus pandemic. 

They slammed the government for allegedly failing to allot enough funds for healthcare. 

The benefits include two allowance packages, one of which was expected to be released from January to June this year, the Alliance of Health Workers (AHW) said in a statement.  

The state had yet to fully pay workers their coronavirus allowance for January to June, as well as their retroactive emergency allowance for July to December last year,  Sally Ejes, acting president of the Philippine Heart Center Employees Association-AHW, said in the statement. 

The health workers hit the Budget and Health departments for the delay. 

The Budget department last week said the release of the P63-billion coronavirus allowance was awaiting documentary requirements that should be prepared by the Health department. In February, it released P7.92 billion to the DoH for the allowance. 

Overworked and underpaid nurses and other health workers threatened to quit their jobs amid a major breakdown of the country’s healthcare system last year as coronavirus infections surged. 

“Two years of pandemic and yet nothing has changed with regard to our appalling condition,” alliance President Robert T. Mendoza said in the same statement. “The benefits are always delayed and not provided, the salary remains low and far from the living wage we desire.” — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza