A GROUP of nurses reminded the Cebu City Government on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, that it has yet to deliver on its promise two months ago to give cash incentives to 1,800 healthcare professionals working in private hospitals.
Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) Cebu Chapter president Joseph Stephen Descallar said the group wants to know the reason behind the delay.
Descallar said some hospital workers told him that they had not yet received the City’s cash incentives.
Last July 3, Mayor Edgardo Labella said he directed the Local Finance Committee and City Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia, chairman of the committee on budget and finance, to set aside a budget for the release of monthly allowances for healthcare workers tapped by the government to augment the workforce of private hospitals in the city.
The cash incentives amount to P10,000 a month for three months. The City’s move aimed to boost the morale of private doctors and nurses who are paid less compared to their counterparts working for government-run hospitals.
In a separate interview on Sept. 23, Labella said his office aims to distribute the cash incentives for August before September ends.
September has seven days left.
The mayor said the delay in the cash incentives’ distribution for August was caused by the need to meet documentary requirements of the Commission on Audit.
This is the first time that the City will give financial assistance to private medical workers.
Labella promised that the distribution of cash incentives for the months of September and October will not be delayed.
The mayor said the payroll is being prepared to fast-track the distribution.
The beneficiaries include private nurses, doctors, medical technologists, radiologic technologists and respiratory therapists.
They are from Chong Hua Hospital, Cebu Doctors’ University Hospital, Perpetual Succour Hospital, Cebu Velez Hospital, H.W. Miller Memorial Sanitarium and Hospital and Visayas Community Medical Center.
The cash incentives will be given in addition to the salaries already received by the healthcare workers from the private hospitals that employ them.
Labella said last July 3 that the funds amounting to about P54 million may be sourced from the second supplemental budget; however, if this budget would not be enough, another supplemental budget may be passed.
The City’s second supplemental budget, approved by the City Council in March, amounted to P1 billion for Covid-19 response.
Out of the P1 billion, P500 million went to the purchase of relief goods for the city’s residents, while P400 million was used to procure personal protective equipment and other consumables.
Garcia said last July 3 that the P100 million remaining from the second supplemental budget, originally intended for Covid-19 recovery efforts, could be realigned to respond to Labella’s aim. (WBS, PAC / KAL)