CHD head: Bureaucracy to blame for delays in releasing of pay, allowances of medical frontliners in Cebu City

·3 min read

AN OFFICIAL of the Cebu City Health Department (CHD) admitted that the lengthy processing between the City and the national government has contributed to the delay in the release of salaries and allowances of healthcare workers.

But Dr. Jeffrey Ibones, CHD head, assured that the release of salaries and allowances of their employees will be expedited.

Ibones added that their office is also doing a continuous follow-up on the appointment papers of their job order (JO) employees so that their salaries for July and August will also be released.

Last Sunday, Sept. 4, a CHD nurse who spoke to SunStar Cebu on condition of anonymity said that they have not received their One Covid Allowance (OCA) since January and two months’ worth of salary.

The nurse said many of their colleagues have already quit their jobs due to the delays in the payment of their salaries and allowances.

According to Ibones, the release of the OCA depends on how fast the national government can process it since the funding comes from the Department of Health (DOH) Central Office.

The distribution of OCA to medical frontliners is in accordance with Republic Act 11712, the law that grants mandatory continuing benefits and allowances to public and private healthcare workers during the Covid-19 pandemic and other future public health emergencies.

OCA recipients who are identified to be at high risk for Covid-19 will receive P9,000 per month, while those who are deployed in moderate and low-risk areas are entitled to a monthly benefit of P6,000 and P3,000, respectively.

The list of OCA recipients is checked by the DOH office in Central Visayas, then it will be validated by the DOH Central Office. It will be returned to CHD if there are errors, and the CHD will correct the list and resubmit it, according to Ibones.

Ibones said they have already given the OCA of the casual and regular employees of the CHD, and within this week, some JO workers will be receiving theirs.

The distribution of OCA to the JO workers cannot be done in one batch since it would depend on the names that will be provided by the DOH Central Office, said Ibones.

He added that the OCA for January and February have already been released but the allowance for March, June and July is still being processed.

“Assured na man na kay gihatag na man nato. Wala lang nagkadungan tanan kay naa may mga problema. Mangayo lang ta og gamay pasensya kay dili man na atoang budget,” said Ibones.

(It is assured that it will be given. It was not distributed in one batch because of some problems. Let us be patient because that budget is not ours.)

Ibones also acknowledged that the JO employees working since July 2022 have not been given their appointment papers from the City Government.

He assured though that the healthcare workers will have their documents since Mayor Michael Rama already signed the CHD’s manpower request.

Ibones said there are around 400 casual and regular employees in their department, while another 358 healthcare workers are being employed on a job order basis with a contract of three months.