Cebu City promises P10,000 monthly incentive to private health workers

John Sitchon
The Cebu City Council will also hear two resolutions which would give P15,000 financial aid to nurses in the coronavirus ward, and financial aid to infected patients

INCENTIVES. Residents in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City undergo blood extraction for rapid testing as part of the massive testing of the City Government to all barangays. File photo by Gelo Litonjua/Rappler

CEBU, Philippines – Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella plans to give P10,000 worth of monthly incentives to health care workers in Cebu City’s private hospitals for a period of 3 months.

In a Facebook post, Labella announced on Saturday, July 4, his plans on the monthly incentive scheme as “token of gratitude” for health workers.

The beneficiaries would include resident doctors, nurses, medical technologists radiological technologists, respiratory specialists, interns, assistants, auxiliaries, and private hospital staff.

The mentioned hospitals included Chong Hua Hospital, Cebu Doctors’ University Hospital, Perpetual Succour Hospital, Cebu Velez General Hospital, Cebu Community Hospital, and Adventist Miller Hospital.

Under Section 4(d) of the expired Bayanihan to Heal As One Act, only health workers in public hospitals – which were paid for by the government – were entitled to a “special COVID-19 risk allowance,” in addition to their regular hazard pay. This left private hospitals to give additional risk pay to their staff upon discretion.

Earlier on Saturday, Cebu City Councilor Eduardo Roa Rama Jr said he would propose a resolution urging the mayor to give a P15,000 financial aid to nurses handling coronavirus patients for 4 months.

“Our medical front liners are essential and instrumental in this battle and the lack of nurses could significantly affect the capacity of our healthcare system in fighting this pandemic,” Rama said.

The city councilor said that it is the “very least” the government can do to support the nurses whose work involved a lot of risks and sacrifices.

“I welcome the public’s sentiments and recommendations on this and urge my co-councilors and our mayor to support this resolution when filed,” he added.

Rama’s proposal will be presented during the next council session on Wednesday, July 8.

Medical aid to COVID-19 patients

Cebu Daily News earlier reported that Councilor Dave Tumulak told city legislators to extend medical aid to COVID-19 patients and persons under investigation (PUIs).

On June 22, Tumulak proposed to amend the City Hospitalization Assistance and Medicines Program (CHAMP) coverage to include COVID-19 patients and PUIs.

 A public hearing for Tumulak’s proposal is scheduled on July 8 as well.

If approved, coronavirus patients and PUIs can avail of financial assistance.

Under the proposed amendment, patients and suspected persons will need to present a medical abstract or physician’s diagnosis, hospital bill, official receipts, and barangay certification of residency.

For COVID-19 patients who have serious or critical conditions, they may avail assistance amounting to as much as P150,000. 

PUIs and patients with less serious conditions may avail an amount of P50,000.

As of July 3, the Cebu City Health Department has recorded 2,587 active cases, 3,046 recoveries and 211 deaths from COVID-19. – Rappler.com