We write to address the concerns raised by Mr. Charlie V. Manalo in his column Naked Thoughts on April 16, 2020. The column raises the plight of the city’s health workers during these trying times.
For the record, Quezon City values tremendously the commitment of our health workers in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. Their fortitude in the face of this crisis deserves nothing less than the full and unwavering support of this administration.
Prior to this term, the city’s first-year resident doctors had not been receiving any compensation at all. This unfortunate state of affairs was allowed to persist by the past administration despite the fact that the number of resident doctors steadily rose, without any concomitant increase in the approved plantilla positions for the hospital.
As it takes time to create the necessary permanent positions under Civil Service rules, this administration sought to immediately remedy this lapse by compensating our resident doctors by increasing the compensation due to them, even before the onset of this pandemic.
The city raised the compensation of our contractual resident doctors from zero to levels comparable to the national average retroactive Jan. 2, 2020 (first-year residents from zero to P25,000 and second-year residents from P21,000 to P35,000). If there would be any delay in the processing of these benefits, this delay shall immediately be resolved and the benefits received in full by our health workers.
To further assist our health workers, the city has passed several executive orders and ordinances to provide our health workers with additional benefits such as hazard pay and special risk allowances, as well as to protect them against all forms of discrimination. Just last Monday, the City Council passed an ordinance that would grant frontliners who contract COVID-19 with substantial financial assistance.
Likewise, all of the city’s department heads have pledged a large percentage of their salaries on a monthly basis for the benefit of our frontline workers, and the mayor herself has matched their contributions by pledging her entire year’s salary for the worthy cause of looking after our health workers.
Quezon City remains committed in our unwavering support of our valiant health workers and shall exert everything in its power to aid them in our fight against COVID-19.
Director, Quezon City General Hospital