DILG to probe alleged cut in hazard pay of Cainta nurse who died of COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   August 13, 2020   •   302

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday said it will conduct an investigation into the reported reduction of hazard pay of a health worker at the Cainta Municipal Hospital who recently succumbed to novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said they will ask the Cainta, Rizal government to explain why it reduced the hazard pay of the nurse as part of its probe into the issue.

“Cainta is a first-class municipality so I see no reason why it could not afford to pay the P500/day hazard pay granted to all health workers during this global pandemic,” Malaya said in a statement.

Malaya’s statement comes after the nurse’s daughter posted a message, which has gone viral on social media, lamenting the P7,000 amount they received from the local government instead of the expected P30,000.

The social media post further claimed that the nurse’s hazard pay was reduced to just P64.18 per day and that the hospital administration even failed to properly explain the deductions.

Aside from the issue on hazard pay, Malaya said they will also ask the local government to explain allegations that it supposedly refused to give the medical worker a swab test after she had a close contact with a COVID-19 patient.

He assured that the DILG and the Department of Health will work together to ensure that the family of the medical frontline worker will receive the P1 million compensation for health workers who died in the line of duty as mandated under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

“We will ensure that her family receives all the benefits provided under the law. This is the least we can do to honor her service to the Municipality of Cainta where she worked in its LGU-run public hospital for more than 10 years – the first 4 years of those without any salary,” Malaya said.

“We have to take care of our health workers because they are the ones who take care of us. Without them, we lose the war against COVID-19. Therefore, we will investigate and determine who should be held accountable,” he added.

21 COVID-19 test labs begin operations—DILG

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 28, 2020

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said that 21 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) laboratories have begun operations in various areas in the country.

Out of the 21 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) laboratories, 14 of them are in Luzon, 3 in Visayas, and 4 in Mindanao. DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said there are currently a total of 130 licensed COVID-19 testing laboratories in the country.

Batid po natin na sa community transmission talaga malakas ang hawaan nitong COVID-19. Kaya magandang balita po ito na pinapalakas ng ating mga lokal na pamahalaan ang kanilang kapasidad upang matugunan ang pangangailangan ng taumbayan (We know that community transmission of COVID-19 is really high. It is good news that our local government units are boosting their capacity to address the needs of the citizens),” he said.

Año also said the daily number of COVID-19 tests has reached over 30,000. Twenty more COVID-19 testing laboratories are currently being reviewed by the Department of Health. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

DILG tells LGUs: Endorse mild, asymptomatic COVID-19 patients to Oplan Kalinga facilities

Robie de Guzman   •   September 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday urged local government units (LGU) in Metro Manila to endorse to Oplan Kalinga quarantine facilities mild and asymptomatic novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients that could no longer be accommodated in local isolation centers.

In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said there now 4,000 beds available in Oplan Kalinga facilities due to the increase in discharges or recoveries in the previous weeks.

“We urge all Metro Manila LGUs to endorse patients which they can no longer accommodate in their local isolation facilities to endorse them to the Mega TTMFs and Oplan Kalinga Hotels which now has some 4,000 beds available because many have already been discharged,” he said.

Año said this is in compliance with Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution No. 74 which states that all confirmed mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients are required to isolate in government-approved facilities, except those who are vulnerable or have comorbidities as certified by a local health officer.

Also exempted in this rule are confirmed mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients in areas where the government-recognized isolation centers are in full capacity.

“Meron tayong mga Mega Quarantine Facilities and 31 COVID hotels na kung saan puwede sila mag-isolate. Importante kasi talaga na mailabas sila sa bahay kasi nakahahawa sa pamilya,” the DILG chief said.

According to DILG spokesperson, Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, LGUs can coordinate directly with the One Hospital Command Center (OHCC) located at the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) which was created to facilitate a comprehensive and coordinated response to the pandemic by ensuring an efficient health facility referral in Metro Manila.

Malaya said that with the establishment of the OHCC, LGUs and individuals can now easily locate hospitals or isolation facilities near them.

The DILG said the command center is open 24/7 and individuals needing treatment may call the OHCC hotlines at 0927-728-0750, 0927-728-0753, 0927-728-0755, and 0927-728-0798.

Individuals needing assistance from the OHCC may also download the PureForce Citizens App via Google Play Store or App Store, it added.

IATF to study mayors’ bid to retain Metro Manila under GCQ after Sept. 30 – Año

Robie de Guzman   •   September 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Most mayors in the National Capital Region (NCR) are in favor of extending the general community quarantine (GCQ) being implemented in the region, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said on Friday.

Año said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) will meet on Sunday, Sept. 27 to discuss the recommendation of the Metro Manila Council on the next quarantine status in NCR by October.

“Maraming mga mayors ng NCR ang gusto pa rin mag-GCQ pero depende pa rin sa usapan sa Sunday,” he said.

Metro Manila is under GCQ until Sept. 30 as earlier recommended by the IATF and approved by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Año said they will thoroughly discuss the Metro Manila mayors’ proposal in order to balance the factors of public health and economy which has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Dalawa ‘yan: mahigpit na MGCQ o maluwag na GCQ. Kapag titignan mo mas maganda talaga na naka-GCQ tayo kahit magluwag ka ng konti pero meron kang talagang mas mataaas na panuntunan kaysa yung nag MGCQ ka pagkatapos hihigpitan mo,” he said.

The Department of Trade and Industry earlier said that Metro Manila could be placed under modified GCQ as this would allow the reopening of more industries to help revive the economy.

The IATF is also set to meet with Duterte on Sunday night to discuss the next quarantine classifications in NCR. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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