Disgruntled SSS doctors, nurses file complaint against ‘oppressive’ De QuirosBy Tetch Torres
MANILA, Philippines—Medical specialists and nurses of the Social Security System on Friday filed criminal and administrative complaint at the Office of the Ombudsman for allegedly depriving them of their Magna Carta benefits after they have not been categorized as public health workers.
In their 11-page complaint, doctors and nurses led by Dr. Oscar S. Villaroman Jr. said that De Quiros violated Republic Act 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, particularly Sections 3 (e) and (f) for “causing any undue injury to any party, including the government or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official, administrative or judicial functions” and “for neglecting or refusing, after due demand or request, without sufficient justification to act within reasonable time on any matter pending before him for the purpose of obtaining, directly or indirectly from any person interested in the matter some pecuniary or material benefit or advantage or for the purposes of favouring his own interest or giving undue advantage in favor of or discriminating against any other interested party.”
They added that De Quiros should also be held administratively liable for being unreasonable, unfair, oppressive or discriminatory and for acting without justification.
The complaint stemmed from the May 30, 2012, office order issued by De Quiros regarding the guidelines in granting additional compensation to public health workers following the provisions of Republic Act 7305, or the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers.
Based on the said guideline, the doctors and nurses assigned in branches of SSS cannot be considered public health workers. The office order provides that only those personnel assigned in the health care department of SSS main branch and in clinics to be established in the future are considered health workers.
The office order, which became effective June 1, 2012, resulted in the cancellation of Magna Carta health benefits for 170 doctors and nurses of SSS. These benefits include hazard, subsistence and laundry pay.
Complainants pointed out that on June 20, 2000, the Commission on Audit (CoA) already classified all medical units of SSS as public health workers.
They said they had already written several demand letters to De Quiros but were ignored.
“The act of Mr. Emilio De Quiros Jr. as President of SSS, of arbitrarily declaring that the undersigned and all other medical specialists/physicians and nurses of SSS branches are not public health workers and therefore not entitled to Magna Carta benefits without approval of the Secretary of Health was done in utter bad faith, contrary to the Magna Carta for Public Health Workers, its implementing rules and jurisprudence interpreting it,” the complainants said.