PGH workers decry P456-M budget cut
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - October 22, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Employees of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) decried yesterday the P456 million reduction in its proposed budget for next year.

Eliseo Estropigan, president of All UP (University of the Philippines Manila) Workers’ Union, said PGH nurses and personnel are demoralized because they are “overworked and underpaid.”

“The PGH is the biggest national hospital providing tertiary care to around 6,000 indigent patients every year and yet its budget was slashed  by P456 million. I don’t think this is justifiable,” Estropigan told The STAR.

He pointed out that the PGH needs P5 billion a year to cover its operations.

Estropigan said the PGH lacks funding to raise its workers’ salary and hire regular employees.

“Many of us have been working for up to 24 hours to make sure that we have enough personnel to attend to patients,” he said.

Estropigan also cited the shortage of nurses at the emergency room and care wards.

“The Grade 11 salary of nurses, which is equivalent to P18,000 to P21,000 per month is not enough considering their workload,” he said.

Of the PGH’s around 4,000 workforce, Estropigan said only 2,710 are regular employees. The rest are either contractuals or on job orders so they do not have security of tenure.

According to Estropigan, the PGH should be given an annual budget of at least P10 billion to cover its operational expenses and to increase its workers’ salary. 

The hospital’s budget would be reduced from this year’s P3.23 billion to P2.77 billion next year.

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