Gov't told: 'Modern day' heroes recognition 'in vain' if workers' demands ignored

Gov't told: 'Modern day' heroes recognition 'in vain' if workers' demands ignored
Teachers call for pay hike at a protest in this 2019 photo

MANILA, Philippines — A teachers' group has called for a salary hike and release of delayed benefits to health and education workers to mark this year's National Heroes' Day.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers in a statement on Monday said the government's recognition of COVID-19 frontliners as "modern day heroes" would only be lip service if it fails to improve their working conditions. 

“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,” said Raymond Basilio, ACT secretary general. 

ACT renewed its call for the upgrading of teachers' salary that it said President Rodrigo Duterte failed to fulfill as part of his campaign promise in 2016. 

It added that teachers have yet to receive compensation for 87 days' worth of overtime work in School Year 2020 to 2021. 

"Is this really how the government treats its modern day heroes?" Basilio continued in Filipino. "All praises have no purpose if our teachers and health workers continue to endure low pay, no rest, and delayed benefits."

President Duterte has given the Department of Health and the Department of Budget and Management 10 days to release health workers' allowance. 

It came after threats that hospital personnel would resign over the continuing delay in the release of their benefits, as well as poor working conditions. 

The World Health Organization has urged government too, to ensure health workers would get enough support. — Christian Deiparine, with reports from Gaea Katreena Cabico 


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