Delayed funds put salaries of DOH workers in Bicol ‘on hold’
LEGAZPI CITY — The salaries of at least a thousand health workers in various towns and villages across Bicol were temporarily put “on hold” by the Department of Health (DOH) in the province due to apparent delay in the release of funds intended for their pay since December 2018.
This was disclosed Friday by DOH-Bicol acting director Ernie Vera, who also said these health workers, which include nurses and midwives deployed in various towns in Bicol, would have to temporarily stop working until the funds for their salaries are released.
According to Vera, delay in the release of funds for salaries has prompted his office to issue an advisory informing health workers that their service deployment has been held in abeyance effective Wednesday until the office receives the release of the first quarter fund for the salaries for Human Resources for Health (HRH) personnel.
“We will be lifting this notice until the funds are released,” Vera said.
Vera, in a phone interview, said DOH in Bicol is spending around P70 million a month for salaries of 1,000 health workers employed under job contracts.
He said monthly salary rate of these health workers range from P20,000 to P31,000.
Vera also said they have already communicated with DOH central office regarding the plight of health workers in the province and requested for a fast-tracked release of the funds.
“So far, what we have been able to pay [were] their salaries for November,” he added.
With the current situation, the agency would not be able to augment the needed health services to various town health units, according to Vera.
He said their situation in Bicol could be an effect of the impasse in the approval of the 2019 national budget, which remains pending in Congress. /kga
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