Gwen, Ace trade barbs over Capitol’s hiring of healthcare workers
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Things are starting to get heated in Cebu’s gubernatorial race.
Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and former Tourism Sec. Joseph Felix Mari ‘Ace’ Durano has been exchanging comments on how the Capitol has been handling the COVID-19 pandemic.
But recently, the two traded barbs over the provincial government’s management of healthcare workers assigned in provincial and district hospitals.
Durano, for his part, lauded Garcia’s decision to re-hire at least 72 health workers as regular employees.
“Maayo na, that’s the step in the right direction para mabawi iya gihimo pag-2019, nga na-undang ang health program ni Vice Gov (Hilario) Davide (III),” said Durano in a statement.
(That is good. That’s the step in the right direction so that she can make up for what she did in 2019 where she stopped the health program of Vice Gov. (Hilario) Davide (III).)
Last October 19, Garcia responded to criticisms, accusing her administration’s poor handling of the public health crisis.
In particular, her decision to outsource several healthcare workers instead of directly hiring them, a move that sparked controversy in 2019.
The governor fired back at critics by showing records of how they rehired and promoted a total of 72 hospital personnel in 2021.
Garcia said that the reemployed healthcare workers’ status was downgraded from regular to job-order in 2019, during the administration of her predecessor and incumbent Vice Gov. Davide.
“It is interesting to know that some of them have been re-employed. Why? Because when I left on my third term as governor, they were previously employed with the Province of Cebu. Somehow, they were no longer employed when I was no longer governor,” she said.
Davide is Durano’s running mate for the May 2022 elections.
Garcia also tagged Durano’s statements as a ‘Johnny-come-lately’ type to which the latter replied by saying:
“An effective health system is not only about having the right facilities, it’s having the right people and it’s good that by hiring 72 medical personnel, Gov. Garcia is beginning to see that and iya i-abandon kato iya 2019 plan (those that she abandoned in her 2019 plan)to hire 1,000 personnel via the outsourcing firm LBP Services Corporation. Dili man na Johnny-come-lately na comment. Kadako ato nga balita sa 2019, nakadungog ta ato tanan, kay kita ato tanan na-apektuhan (That is not a Johnny-come-lately comment. It was a big news in 2019, that all of us heard because we were all affected by it.).”
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