/ 31 August 2021

AS THE country marked National Heroes’ Day, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers called for the immediate release of the delayed benefits of health workers and teachers.

“It is not enough that the government recognizes our frontliners as modern-day heroes. It would be all in vain, and nothing but a publicity stunt if they would continue to ignore the woes and demands of our teachers and healthcare workers,” ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio said.

The group slammed President Duterte’s 2020 Salary Standardization Law V which granted measly pay hikes to government workers and demoted many public hospital nurses.

“Our healthcare workers and teachers have been on the forefront of the pandemic response, but they, too, had to withstand health and economic difficulties to survive. And not once did they feel the Duterte administration’s support to alleviate their situation. Modern-day heroes need to eat and rest, too. How hypocritical it is for the government to call our frontliners modern-day heroes yet turn a blind eye on their sufferings?” Basilio said.

Teachers have yet to receive payment for the 87 days of overtime work they have rendered in School Year 2020-2021, he pointed out.

Meanwhile, healthcare workers held protests in the wards to demand the release of their meals, accommodation and transportation allowance, as well as their specials risk allowance.

“Ganito na lang ba talaga ang pagtrato ng gobyerno sa ating mga bagong bayani? Ginugutom, pinapagod, tinatakot, at pinapabayaan ang kanilang mga pangangailangan. Walang saysay ang mga papuri kung ang ating mga guro at healthcare workers ay nananatiling mababa ang sahod, walang pahinga, at pinagkakaitan ng mga benepisyo,” Basilio said.