5 DOH officials suspended over late release of frontliners’ benefits
MANILA, Philippines — Ombudsman Samuel Martires issued on Tuesday a preventive suspension order on five officials of the Department of Health (DOH) for their alleged shortcomings that resulted in the late release of COVID-19 frontliners’ benefits.
The following were suspended for six months without pay:
- Undersecretary Roger Tong-an
- Assistant Secretary Kenneth Ronquillo
- Assistant Secretary Maylene Beltran
- Director Laureano Cruz
- Administrative Officer Esperanza Carating
According to Martires, they were suspended to prevent them from influencing of interfering in the probe on the issue — especially since they had been charged with gross neglect of duty and insufficiency and incompetence in the performance of official duties.
The Office of the Ombudsman has been investigating the DOH for its alleged shortcomings in handling the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other things, the DOH was accused of lacking personal protective equipment for health workers and being late in its release of funds for frontliners representing emergency or hazard benefits.
Talks also about the insufficient compensation of some health workers started after a nurse who died of COVID-19 was revealed to have gotten only a small portion of the hazard pay her family was expecting.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.