Trust fund running low

Photo by Ace Perez

WITH the increasing number of Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) workers getting infected with coronavirus, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said the trust fund allotted for the hospital's staff is nearly depleting.

Duterte-Carpio said in a radio interview on Thursday, May 28, that 28 SPMC workers have already been infected with Covid-19. Among these workers are nurses and nursing attendants with various means of exposure. The mayor said 26 of them were already given a portion of the trust fund.

"After all the deposits made, this will amount to P1.3 million," she said, adding the fund is starting to deplete.

The mayor, on April 14, announced that she will donate her one year salary, which is pegged at P2,144,256, to be used as a trust fund for SPMC health workers tested positive for Covid-19. She said each Covid-positive health worker will receive P50,000.

Duterte-Carpio said she will be the one to give the money to the SPMC frontliners once she receives a list from the hospital.

The mayor said her personal cash assistance is on top of the medical assistance that the local government would provide them, wherein their hospital bill will be fully shouldered by the city.

"Hapit na mahurot atong trust fund, and I hope dili na sila madungagan (Our trust fund is slowly running out, and I hope no more workers will get the disease)," Duterte-Carpio said.

Right to resign

SPMC medical professional staff chief Dr. Ricardo Audan revealed in a previous virtual presser that some of their health workers have opted to resign from their post, as requested by the family members for fear of possible infection from Covid-19.

Audan cited that the families of the health workers requested for them to leave their job because of the high risk of infection associated with their job.

Duterte-Carpio said that while the supervision of SPMC is under the Department of Health (DOH), she said the City Government respects their decision.

"They are within their rights to resign. We will not judge them," the mayor said, adding it is "perfectly" normal in a situation such as the Covid-19 pandemic.

But she said SPMC chief Dr. Leopoldo Vega told her that there is nothing to worry about because the hospital was able to recruit new personnel.

"In fact, duna daw sila'y bag-ong recruit. Mga 50 new nurses, and duna pud sila'y radtech and medtech and other allied personnel. Dili kaayo sila worried sa mga resignations (In fact, they have recruited new personnel -- 50 nurses and other staff like radiologic technology and medical technology specialists, and other allied personnel)," Duterte-Carpio said.


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