ROXAS CITY – The employees of the Roxas Memorial Provincial Hospital (RMPH) intend to pursue their plan to file for leave of absence if the hospital’s supplemental budget will not be approved.

According to Dr. Edmarie Tormon, OIC of RMPH, there are more than 68 healthcare workers who have already filed for leave of absence and they have also received a petition from the employees who plans to file for mass leave if they will not get paid.

Last July 13 of this year, RMPH submitted their request for Supplemental Budget to the Provincial Budget Office (PBO), which amounts to P94,526,432.54. In July 22, RMPH submitted their revised request to the PBO, which amounts to P47,500,000.00.

Moreover, in August 3, RMPH submitted their request for Supplemental Budget to the Capiz Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP), to which Governor Nonoy Contreras marked as “urgent”. The first budget hearing of the SP happened last August 27, while the second hearing happened last September 8.

In September 24, RMPH employees held a protest and candle lighting activity to demand to the Capiz SP to immediately approve their request for Supplemental Budget. According to the employees, they have not received their salary for two months now and the hospital resources are now depleting due to lack of budget. Employees added that they are now at a point where patients would have to bring their own oxygen tanks for them to be admitted to the hospital.

The employees further added that if the SP won’t approve their request, it will violate the people’s right to healthcare as the hospital can no longer attend its patients’ needs due to limited resources.

According to the SP, they need some documents from RMPH like the hospital’s list of employees to find out if there are so-called “ghost employees”. However, the employees said that they are not ghost employees.

The SP also questioned why the hospital needs supplemental budget as they still have budget left before the fiscal year ends. However, based on a certification from the PBO dated September 23 of this year, RMPH only has P12,489.36 left for its ‘other professional services’ and P1,183,665.75 for its general services.

According to the employees, more than 500 of them are the ones suffering from this ‘political war’ as they have not still received their salary since August.

According to Alliance of Health Workers – Panay, the responsibility of increasing the hospital funding should not be left in the hands of the local government units alone, the national government should also increase the funding for public hospitals to also increase the salaries of healthcare workers, additional facilities and equipment to strengthen the healthcare system.

The healthcare workers of the RMPH are calling for the immediate approval of their requested supplemental budget so that they can provide their full service to their patients especially this time of health crisis./PT

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