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1,000 health workers on hold due to delay in salary release

LEGAZPI CITY --- The deployment of thousands of health workers in various towns and villages across Bicol were put on hold by the Department of Health (DOH) in Bicol due to the apparent delay in the release of funds intended for their salaries since December of last year, according to a DOH official here. Ernie Vera, DOH acting director, on Friday said that at least 1,000 health workers composed of nurses and midwives deployed in various towns in Bicol would have to temporarily stop working until the funds for their salaries have been released. Vera said the delay in the release of funds for salaries has prompted the office to issue an advisory informing the health workers that their service deployment has been placed 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. Vera in a phone interview said the DOH in Bicol is spending around P70M a month for salaries of 1,000 health workers employed under job contract. He said the monthly salary rate of these health workers ranges from P20,000 to P31,000. Vera said they have already communicated with the DOH central office requesting the latter to fast track the release of funds for this purpose. “So far, what we have been able to pay were their salaries for November [2018],” he added. “We will be lifting this notice until the funds are released,” Vera said, Asked how this delay will affect the delivery of health services, Vera admitted that without the job contract health workers, the agency [DOH] would not be able to augment the health services needed by various municipal health units. He said the situation could have been the effect of the impasse in the approval of the P3.7 trillion funds under the 2019 National Expenditures Program (NEP) still pending in Congress.

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