DOH investigates Escudero’s complaint on unpaid Sorsogon nurses

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 20 2020 01:55 PM | Updated as of Nov 20 2020 02:11 PM

MANILA — The Department of Health on Friday said it is investigating the situation of nurses in Sorsogon after its governor Francis “Chiz” Escudero complained that they have not received their salaries.

“We are trying to investigate,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a virtual briefing, adding that they “do not take these things lightly.”

Vergeire said they already called the regional health director and finance officers of the province to learn more about the issue and to “address it immediately.”

Video from DOH

In a tweet on Thursday night, Escudero, a former senator, posted that of the 11 nurses sent by the DOH to augment their hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic, two “only got a salary for two months” when they worked for a total of 5 months.

The remaining 9 “didn’t get any salary after working for over a month,” he said.

Escudero said only one nurse is left working in their province.

“No one got any benefits in violation of their contract,” he said, ending the tweet with the hashtag #SalamatDOH.

In response, Vergeire said the DOH does not want anyone to be unfairly treated especially during the pandemic.

“Gusto natin lahat nabibigyan ng kaukulang bayad at tsaka 'yung kanilang benepisyo dahil alam natin sila ay nagtatrabaho at nagmamalasakit para sa ating mga kababayan,” she said.

(We want everyone to be compensated appropriately and with benefits because we know that they are working and caring for our citizens.)

This is not the first time that the DOH received flak for delayed salaries. Besides problems faced by government health workers, contractual employees hired for the agency’s surveillance unit also did not receive their salaries for up to 4 months.

It was only after their situation was covered by ABS-CBN News that the processing of their salaries was expedited.