1, 800 Cebu City medical workers receive first tranche of financial assistance
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Nurse Michelle Macahasa worked in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) ward of Chong Hua Hospital (CHH) for the last six months.
She said the pandemic gave a new meaning to their profession, as they experienced the most challenging situations.
As they worked day in, day out far from their families, sweating inside their heavy personal protective equipment, and in constant risk of contracting the virus, the medical workers became the last line of defense of the city against Sars-Cov 2, the virus responsible for the deadly COVID-19.
Even though it was a difficult time for them, they pushed through, knowing that the people’s lives depended on them.
“I was working among heroes,” said Macahasa.
Macahasa is among the 1,800 medical workers assigned in COVID-19 wards in private hospitals in the city, who were finally rewarded on Thursday, October 29, 2020, after they were given the first tranche of the financial assistance promised by the city government worth P10,000.
The city government facilitated the distribution of the financial assistance for the COVID-19 medical frontliners at the Cebu Doctors’ University Hospital (CDUH) and the CHH.
It was delayed for almost three months due to the documentary requirements needed by the Commission on Audit. Fortunately, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) offered their services for free to the city in order to fast track the processing of requirements for assistance.
Mayor Edgardo Labella, who led the distribution of the financial assistance at CDUH and CHH, took the opportunity to thank the medical workers for their service during the peak of the pandemic in Cebu City.
He hopes the P30,000 financial assistance to be distributed in three tranches would help alleviate the financial struggles of these medical workers in the private hospitals, whose salaries are relatively lower by almost half compared to their government counterparts.
“Wala gyod ni ninyo gipangayo pero amo ni gihatag alang pagpasalamat sa inyong kugi ug pagserbisyo. You are the reason why Cebu City is the epicenter for recovery,” said the mayor.
(You didn’t ask for this but we’re giving this as a way to thank you for your services.)
More medical workers in other private hospitals in the city are expected to receive their first tranche of financial assistance amounting to P10,000. Labella said the distribution for the entire P30,000 is expected to be completed in three months.
For Macahasa, financial assistance is a huge help to ease the financial burden of the medical workers.
Although private hospitals have provided for the employees as much as they can, they simply cannot afford to pay health workers the same rate as government hospitals.
With additional financial assistance, private medical workers should receive close to the same salary as their government counterparts at least for the pandemic.
The medical workers will receive financial assistance equivalent for the months of July, August, and September in three tranches.
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