MEMBERS of Congress are being called upon by the Filipino people to prove that they are really pro-workers, particularly health professionals.
This after thousands of government-employed health workers -- medical doctors, dentists and nurses -- throughout the Philippines run the risk of losing their jobs next year.
These beleaguered workers face the dreaded “endo” (end of contract) at the end of 2016 if Congress will not override the government’s plan to downsize the number of frontline health personnel.
Sen. Ralph Recto, an economist, said the Upper House of Congress can explore many options to save these jobs or at least cushion the effects of what amounts to a “mass retrenchment” of public servants.
Under the government’s grassroots manpower deployment program, the Department of Health (DoH) will not be able to retain the number of health personnel currently hired.
The number of physicians assigned to low-income towns will be reduced from 946 this year to only 435 in 2017.
From 15,727 this year, the number of nurses to be deployed under the DoH”s Rural Health Practice Program (RHPP) will be reduced to just 9,349 in 2017, according to Recto.
DoH-employed dentists, on the other hand, will be reduced from the 2016 level of 324 to 243 next year.
But what is significant here is that our lawmakers -- senators and congressmen -- have not shown any sign of backing off from their commitment to help the country’s working class.
To do otherwise is to draw the ire of not only the workers in the government service but also those in the private sector.