Nurses fired over FB posts appeal to hospital execsBy Jaymee T. Gamil
Philippine Daily Inquirer
“Just give us our certificates of employment so we can move on with our lives.”
This was the appeal made by 16 nurses who were terminated in August by the city government-run Taguig-Pateros District Hospital.
Although hospital officials have said that as contractual workers, the nurses could be let go at any time, the 16 have claimed that they were fired just days after they liked a volunteer doctor’s Facebook status updates that were critical of the hospital administration.
The Facebook posts were made in July by volunteer doctor Jocelyn Imbao, who has since left the hospital.
The nurses sought the help of media after they failed to get any assistance from the Department of Health, Civil Service Commission and Department of Labor and Employment. According to the government agencies, contractual employees are not under their jurisdiction.
One of the 16 nurses who spoke to the Inquirer on condition of anonymity said she was formerly assigned at the hospital’s emergency department.
She added that although they have come to terms with the hospital officials’ decision to terminate their services, they do not understand why they have not been issued their certificates of employment—one of the requirements for nurses who want to work overseas.
“We don’t know why. [We have a right] to these certificates since we served in the hospital,” she said.
The nurse added that she was with the hospital for two years while several others who were terminated along with her had been there for as long as five.
She said that there were 46 of them who were let go. The first batch consisted of 11 nurses while the second was composed of five. The rest opted to resign and in return, they were issued their certificates of employment. The first two batches consisting of 16 nurses, however, have yet to be given theirs, she complained.
According to her, they were mulling filing an administrative case against the hospital should it refuse to issue their certificates.
“We can’t move on, we can’t apply for jobs abroad. Sure, terminate us. But just give our certificates of employment so we can move on with our lives,” she said.
Another nurse, meanwhile, said that before she was terminated, her superiors at the hospital gave her a “very satisfactory” grade in a performance evaluation. This was proof that she was competent, contrary to the hospital officials’ claim that she and 15 others were fired as they were incapable of performing their functions.
Their contracts were set to expire in December yet, she added.
In a statement, Taguig legal officer Marianito D. Miranda said that the city government and hospital management were in agreement that “there exists no employer-employee relationship between these personnel and the City as confirmed by the Civil Service Commission itself. Moreover, these personnel’s service contract provides that it can be terminated anytime upon written notice.”
He added that “these terminated personnel have manifested blatant disobedience and disregard of authority and protocols, engaged in sowing intrigues and encouraged discontent among the hospital’s staff and personnel. Sadly, they have done these things even while they were on duty and supposedly working on official government time.”—With Kristine Felisse Mangunay