MANILA – Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada has assured the immediate release of salaries of some 116 doctor-consultants of the City-run Ospital ng Maynila whose contracts of service had not been renewed by the hospital’s previous director.
The consultants earlier sought the city government’s help about their plight, saying their contracts have not been renewed up to this date.
In an interview on Monday by broadcast journalist Joe Taruc over DZRH Radio, Mayor Estrada said, “Wala palang kontratang pinipirmahan ‘yung dating director ng ospital. Pinaimbestigahan ko na yan. Eh, nung nalaman ko nga, pinaayos ko agad mga papeles. Within the week, maaayos na ‘yan.”
Asked by Taruc if the matter was not brought to his (Estrada’s) attention, Mayor Estrada pointed out that he was belatedly informed that the consultants have no valid and updated job contracts, the reason they have not been given their salaries for 2015.
To Taruc’s remark that Estrada would have immediately acted on the contracts had he been informed accordingly, the Mayor said, “Oo nga e. Kaya pinalitan ko na yung director ng ospital. Pinalitan ko nga kasi yang ginawang ganyan. Di inaasikaso mga papeles ng consultants.”
To avoid such situation in the future, Mayor Estrada advised the doctors and other hospital personnel to always comply with the requirements of the laws, stressing that he is religiously complying with the regulations of the Commission on Audit (COA) in signing payroll checks.
“Unang una, pareng Joe, maingat tayo sa pananalapi. Kahit wala na kaming mga utang, at marami na kaming pera. Sa totoo lang, nagbigay pa nga ako ng incentive pay sa mga empleyado, mga 11 libong empleyado, bukod pa sa 13th month pay… pero ilalagay natin lahat yan in order para hindi tayo silipin ng COA… na baka nagbibigay tayo ng suweldo na walang kontrata,” Mayor Estrada said.
Meanwhile, recently-assigned OsMa director, Dr. Edwin Perez, said, “Napunta ako sa OsMa ng November 2015, nakita ko na may total na 116 consultants… nakita ko rin na paano makakasweldo eh wala pang signed contract. So, inasikaso namin.”
Dr. Perez explained that doctor-consultants receive different rates, usually, Php 600 per visit; some render their services from six to 12 days a month. “Yung mga nag-serve na consultant, may mga nag-serve diyan na 12 visits in a month, yung pinakamababa naman ay 6 visits in a month. Iba-ibang departamento… 11 departments lahat ‘yan.”
He added, “The city government under Mayor Estrada has sufficient funds for the payroll of the hospital personnel. May perang pambayad sa kanila kasi naka-budget naman sila. Php 5,140,000 for the whole 2015. Ipina-ready na ‘yan ni Mayor Estrada. Basta maka-comply na sila sa requirements ng COA.”
Dr. Perez dismissed the rumors spread by some quarters that the consultants have become restless because of the issue. “Tinatanggap naman nila ‘yung explanation. Ang doctor, service ang ginagawa nila sa mga tao… talagang tumutulong sa ating mga kababayan. Sana huwag sila magamit sa ganitong sistema ng paninira. Buhay ng mga pasyente ang nakataya diyan,” Dr. Perez added.