Cebu City government eyeing cash aid
Mary Ruth R. Malinao (The Freeman) - July 4, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The Cebu City government is looking at providing 1,800 private medical workers with financial incentive amounting to P10,000 for the next three months, something that would need the support of the City Council.

"Akong gitan-aw nga there are 1,800 health workers nga angay natong tabangan to boost their morale kay ang ila gud tawon nga sweldo, ikomparar sa mga government health workers, mga more or less katunga ra gyud intawon," Mayor Edgardo Labella said in a virtual press conference yesterday.

(I’m looking at 1,800 health workers that we should help to boost their morale because the salary they are receiving is, more or less, just half of what government health workers are getting.)

These medical workers include doctors, private nurses, and medical technologists who serve as augmentation force in the continuing battle against COVID-19 at private hospitals in the city like Chong Hua Hospital, Perpetual Succour Hospital, Cebu Doctors’ University Hospital, to name a few.

"We know the risk that they are facing as frontliners in this fight against an invisible virus, the COVID virus," Labella said.

Labella said he has already spoken with the Local Finance Committee about the plan, which would need a total of P54 million.

Labella said the fund will be sourced from the city's supplemental budget.

"Ang atong Supplemental Budget 2, diha pa man toy sobra kay wa man nato mahurot og gasto. Pwede adto kuhaon didto... I am confident nga naa pay sobra ang atong Supplemental Budget No. 2 para mahatag nato aning mga private medical health workers nga nakig-atubang pakigbugno ining atong COVID-19 virus," he said.

(We still have money from Supplemental Budget 2. We can get it there. I am confident we still have money that we can give the private medical health workers who are in the forefront of this battle against COVID-19.)

Rama proposal

Councilor Edu Rama also eyes giving financial support specifically to nurses attending to COVID-19 patients at the city’s hospitals.

He posted on Facebook yesterday:

"In our next regular council session, I will be proposing a resolution urging the Mayor to give financial aid amounting to approximately Fifteen Thousand Pesos (P15,000) per month for the next four months to every COVID nurse working in COVID-designated hospitals in the City of Cebu.

Our healthcare workers are overworked and many have considered resigning while some already have. Our medical frontliners 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. With all the risk and sacrifice involved in the work that they do, the very least we in government can do is to support them.

I welcome the public’s sentiments and recommendations on this and urge my co-councilors and our Mayor to support this resolution when filed. Thank you."

Road to recovery

Meanwhile, Labella thanked the health workers at the Cebu City Quarantine Center (CCQC), which have discharged 142 patients who have recovered from the disease.

"I am glad nga duna nay mga nangaayo diha gikan sa CCQC," Labella said.

(I am glad that there are patients at CCQC who have already recovered.)

As of Thursday, July 2, the recovery rate in the city is at 54 percent.

"Taas gyud ang atong recovery rate because of the kind of intervention," he said.

(We have a high recovery rate because of the kind of intervention.)

He said the city is training more contact tracers who are vital in the efforts on mass testing and contact tracing.

"Daghan bitaw nag-ingon usahay nga 'hunong nalang mayor og test ug contact tracing para dili modaghan ang positive.' Ako silang gitubag nga we have a moral and legal duty to protect the health, the lives of our people in the City of Cebu," Labella said.

(Many tell me to just stop the test and contact tracing so our number of positive cases won’t go up. I told them we have a moral and legal duty to protect the health, the lives of our people in the City of Cebu.)

"We don't mind kung modaghan ang makita nga resulta for as long as atong na-monitor, atong nakita para malikayan gyud nato ang pag-spread sa virus," he added.

(I don’t mind if our numbers go up as a result of monitoring so that we can really stop the spred of the virus.)

The mayor appealed to the public to continue observing precautionary measures such as wearing of masks in public places, washing of hands, and implementing of social distancing, among others.  JMO (FREEMAN)

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