A recent study by data aggregator iPrice Group revealed a glaring wage gap for nurses and medical technologists in the ASEAN region. The data showed that both professions in the Philippines earned the lowest compared to any of their counterparts in neighboring ASEAN countries by at least 50%.
While the results are absolutely heartbreaking, is it really that surprising given the way the Duterte administration has forged ahead with baffling policies aimed at making life that much harder for medical workers? The President cannot deny that he told nurses to just join the police force so they can earn higher wages for their selfless services. Instead of leading the fight to uplift the standing of medical workers nationwide, the President would rather insult the unsung heroes of this pandemic with this remark.
Matagal na nating alam na walang malasakit ang administrasyong Duterte sa mga medical workers at frontliners na nagbubuwis ng buhay at itinataya ang kalusugan upang malabanan ang pandemyang ito. Patunay ang datos na ito sa hindi maikakailang katotohanan ng kalagayan ng mga nurses at medical technologists sa bansa.
In the last few months, the government revealed its apathy – and at times hostility – towards our medical frontliners. They offered a measly ₱500/day to entice volunteer medical workers during the early stages of the pandemic response, aggravated by the delayed release of it for months now. They also banned the deployment of medical workers employed overseas and essentially tried to guilt them into service by falsely appealing to their sense of nationalism. Duterte even dared them to stage a “revolution”, so he could strike back with a “counter-revolution”.
Hindi na kataka-taka na pinipili ng ating mga nurse at iba pang medical professional na mangibang bansa na lamang para matugunan ang pangangailangan at makamit ang pangarap ng kanilang pamilya’t mahal sa buhay. Pinipili nilang umalis ng Pilipinas dahil wala o kulang na kulang naman ang ipinapakita ritong malasakit at pag-aalala sa kanilang kapakanan. May puso ang mga bayaning ito sa serbisyo na malayo sa antas ng pagtingin at turing ng pamunuang Duterte sa kanila.
Pandemic or not, I join the call for the better treatment of our medical workers who deserve so much better.
(Access the handwritten copy of Dispatch from Crame No. 905 here: https://issuu.com/senatorleilam.delima/docs/dispatch_905)