The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) has nothing but great respect and appreciation for all the untiring health workers and staff who compose our hallowed institution, especially in this global pandemic.
Yesterday, the RITM Employees Association-Alliance of Health Workers (RITMEA-AHW) mobilized to request for the non-abolition of RITM under the Philippine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Bill, and the granting of the Special Risk Allowance (SRA) and meal, accommodations and transportation (MAT) allowance. The peaceful demonstration within RITM grounds lasted for 30 minutes with safety officers on standby for the duration of the activities.
The Institute has been participating in Philippine CDC Bill meetings organized by the House of Representatives, and now in the initial meetings of the Senate Committee on Health. RITM has likewise been submitting position papers at every level and conduct of such consultations. Internally, the Institute has composed a technical working group where strategic solutions are being planned to mitigate the Bill’s possible adverse impacts on tenure.
As for employee allowances, RITM provided all benefits in accordance with the provisions of the Republic Act No. 11494, otherwise known as the “Bayanihan to Recover as One Act,” related laws such as R.A. Nos. 11519 and 11520, and other subsequent issuances by concerned government agencies. These benefits included the active hazard duty pay; SRA; and the provision of free meals, free accommodations, and free shuttle services daily. At present, RITM is working alongside the Department of Health (DOH) on being reconsidered for other additional allowances our qualified health workers and staff may avail.
The Institute believes in freedom of speech as the fount of a strong nation-state. RITM also believes that the DOH remains sympathetic and accommodating to the needs of all health workers nationwide.
RITM shall continue its fight against COVID-19 and other tropical and infectious diseases as a strong and united family, with great confidence that our health workers and staff will continue to be valued, protected, and provided for by the Department of Health.