News

No transport allowance for WP PHIs since end 2020

  • Bemoan lack of PPE, specially face masks

By Dinitha Rathnayake

 

Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) in the Western Province (WP) have complained to the authorities regarding the non-payment of their transport allowance since the beginning of the year and the inadequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), especially face masks.

Speaking to The Sunday Morning, the Secretary of the PHIs Union Mahendra Balasooriya said that the PHIs in the Western Province had not received the transport allowance of Rs. 2 per kilometre since December 2020, adding also that there was a shortage of face masks.

“This is a stage where the Covid-19 pandemic is spreading fast and in high numbers in the Western Province. We have a huge responsibility to take care of the people. How are we supposed to do our duty without the transport allowance and face masks? Although our official work hours are from 7.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m., every PHI has to stay for additional hours helping to deal with this Covid-19 pandemic situation and, therefore, travel more.”

According to Balasooriya, PHIs are eligible to have this transport allowance of Rs. 2 per kilometre, and a bike.

“Due to the current situation, we are unable to pay visits. If we do, we have to pay from our own salary. The PHIs salary ranges from Rs. 31,145 to Rs. 47,125. How are we supposed to contribute our salary for transportation? Even though we have informed the relevant authorities regarding our situation, officials have given no response to it,” he added.

Attempts to reach the Deputy Director General (DDG) of Health Services Dr. S.M. Arnold, the DDG of Public Health Services Dr. Hemantha Herath, and the Director General of Health Services Dr. Asela Gunawardena regarding this issue were not successful.