LEGAZPI CITY — The Department of Health (DOH) has put on hold the deployment of thousands of health workers to various towns and villages in Bicol due to the delay in the release of funds intended for their salaries since December, an official here said Friday.
Ernie Vera, DOH 5 (Bicol) acting director, said at least 1,000 health workers, composed of nurses and midwives deployed to various towns in the region, would have to temporarily stop working until the funds are released.
Vera said the delay in the release of funds has prompted the office to issue an advisory, informing health workers that their deployment has been put on hold until the first quarter budget for their salaries is released.
In a phone interview, Vera said DOH-5 is spending about PHP70 million a month for salaries of 1,000 health workers hired as job contract.
He said the monthly salary rate of these health workers ranges from Php 20,000 to Php 31,000.
Vera said they have already communicated with the DOH central office, requesting to fast-track the release of funds.
“So far, what we have been able to pay (were) their salaries for November. We will be lifting this notice until the funds are released,” Vera said, noting that the halt in the deployment began last Wednesday.
When asked about the effect of the issue to the delivery of health services, Vera said with the current situation, the agency would not be able to augment the needed health service given by the agency to various town health units.
He said the situation could be the effect of the impasse in the approval of the Php 3.7 trillion funds under the 2019 National Expenditures Program still pending in Congress. (PNA)