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The future of Filipino healthcare workers depends on the next PH President

The future of Filipino healthcare workers depends on the next PH President

In September 2021, hundreds of healthcare workers demonstrated in the Philippine capital to demand an end to what they called government neglect and unpaid benefits, as pressure mounts at hospitals dealing with one of Asia’s longest-running coronavirus epidemics.

Protesters dressed in protective medical equipment gathered at the Department of Health (DOH) with placards demanding risk allowances and hazard pay, as well as the resignation of Health Secretary Francisco Duque. These healthcare workers, fed up with the low pay that comes with their dangerous job, took to the streets to demand the payment of long-overdue benefits.

This is just one of the many issues that Filipino voters should consider when casting their ballots in the upcoming May 2022 election. Are the presidentiables paying attention to the grievances of healthcare workers? If that is the case, who among the presidentiables is willing to take that one step forward and guarantee that long-overdue benefits will be fulfilled when the new head of government is elected next year?

According to the most recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, which was conducted from October 20 to 23 with 1,200 registered voters nationwide, 47 percent of Filipinos chose former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and 18 percent chose Leni Robredo as their top choices for president in the upcoming elections.

The two are competing against each other, but the question is whether they will offer a new form of government or simply return to old-school traditional politics. If that is the case, it will be the same old fight that has been going on for the past 50 years, at the expense of the Filipino.

Frontline medical personnel in the Philippines have been dealing with an overburdened health-care system for more than a year, as the government struggles to contain the coronavirus. The next election will be a springboard to change the system and provide a breath of fresh air for our healthcare workers, assuming the new president is on their side.

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