Ilocos Norte health workers to receive hazard pay

LAOAG CITY—Employees in the provincial government-run health facilities in Ilocos Norte will receive a hazard pay on top of their regular bonuses before the end of this year.

Following a budget deliberation held at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Dr. Roger Braceros, officer in charge of the Governor Roque B. Ablan Sr. Memorial Hospital here, said in an interview on Tuesday that all staff of the GRASMH and district hospitals in Ilocos Norte will receive their hazard pay from August to December.

“We appreciate our governor and thank the provincial government for giving us hazard pay. This helps a lot for our hospital personnel,” said Braceros as it is the first time the provincial government is granting this benefit to the workers in the public health sector.

He said health personnel deserve additional pay considering that they usually put their lives at risk when performing their jobs.

The Magna Carta of Public Health Workers entitles qualified beneficiaries to a hazard pay which ranges from 5 to 10 percent of their remuneration, depending on the salary grade. But due to budget constraints, the provincial government has allocated barely five percent of the total hazard pay of each health worker as partial payment this year.

Earlier, Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc acknowledged having so many problems in the public health sector.

“The problems [on health] are even bigger problem than I thought. So I hope the partial payment of hazard pay will make them happy,” said Manotoc as he made a promise to soon release the much-needed assistance.

To carry out the plans and programs under the health reform agenda of the Ilocos Norte government, the governor has appointed Dr. Rogelio Balbag, a three-term former provincial board member, as executive director of the Provincial Health Council.

Aside from the purchase of additional hospital equipment and continuing implementation of the Universal Health Care program, the provincial government is also planning to hire more doctors, pharmacists and nurses to carry out desired changes in the public health sector.   Leilanie Adriano /PNA –