Health workers mark Black Hearts Day on Valentine’s Day

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This article is available in Pilipino

Health workers from private and public hospitals in Metro Manila and Baguio City marked “Black Hearts Day” on February 14, Valentine’s Day. According to them, the black heart symbolizes their frustration with the Marcos regime for its continued denial of living wages, delayed benefits, widespread contractualization in the sector and other long-standing demands of health workers.

The health workers unions allied with the Health Workers United For Wage Increase (HWUWI) staged their protest before the Department of Health (DoH) national office in Santa Cruz, Manila. They denounced the DoH over what they called the “pathetic state” of the sector. The insensitive actions of the Marcos regime further intensified it.

“This situation can be considered alarming especially since the country is in a severe crisis, so is the public health system,” according to Robert Mendoza, Alliance of Health Workers (AHW) national president and convenor of HWUWI. He further emphasizes, the Marcos regime prioritizes “charter change” instead of addressing their long-standing grievance.

Ernesto Bulanadi, president of the Tondo Medical Center Employees Association-AHW, denounced the spending of the Marcos regime for confidential and intelligence funds, Maharlika Investment and now the People’s Initiative when the billions used for these could have been given to health workers and health sector.

Unions and health workers again demanded the ₱33,000 entry salary for health workers in private and public hospitals, as well as for other government employees. The much-delayed Health Emergency Allowance and the Performance Based Bonus for 2021-2022 should also be given.

AB: Health workers mark Black Hearts Day on Valentine's Day