‘Agency nurses depriving regular workers of income’ - Cebu Circle | Cebu City, Philippines

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

‘Agency nurses depriving regular workers of income’

04/07/2010 - The provincial government's policy to outsource nurses for district hospitals resulted in low salaries, lower morale for regular nurses and dismal services to their patients.
Vice Gov. Gregorio Sanchez explained that the Powerline agency which contracts the nurses and doctors to the district hospitals are eating up almost half of the salaries intended for regular doctors and nurses.

“Just try to imagine ug i-hire sa agency, they receive P260 but the government is actually giving P460. A nurse receives P8,000 monthly only but actually the government is paying them P14,000,” Sanchez said.

He said this situation may have discouraged district hospital nurses from accompanying their patients to another hospital.

Sanchez made the observation in the wake of the death of Argao tourism officer Theodore Villarimo last week.

Villarimo died due to an asthma attack while being transferred from the Isidro Kintanar Memorial Medical Center in Argao town to a Cebu City hospital, covering a distance of 60 kilometers.

He was only accompanied by his helper at the time of his transfer because the nurses were allegedly not allowed to board the ambulances.

Health authorities said they had yet to get full details on the case.

Dr. Lakshmi Legaspi, Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) assistant director, said Villarimo should have been accompanied by a nurse during his transfer.

But she said the shortage of nurses in some hospitals may have explained why there was no nurse who accompanied Villarimo at the time of his transfer.

“In some areas, the ambulance is not used properly. It is just used as a transport vehicle,” she added.

The Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas already ordered its personnel to docket the incident based on news reports on the case.

Assistant Ombudsman Virginia Palanca-Santiago said a formal complaint should be filed before their office if an investigation is sought.

“It will be better if a complaint will be filed, including affidavits and maybe some evidence,” she said.

The party which may be found liable may be charged with “neglect or dereliction of duty,” Santiago said.

An anonymous letter from Villarimo's supposed relatives and friends blamed Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia for the inadequate services at the hospital.

Some nurses at the Kintanar hospital that were contracted by Powerline recruitment agency were not encouraged to ride the ambulance since they are not covered by insurance.

The manpower agency is owned by the family of Garcia's vice gubernatorial candidate Glenn Soco.

Sanchez said the medical personnel in the district hospitals were already “unhappy” with low wages, in part caused by the outsourcing of health personnel.

He said the Capitol should stop outsourcing doctors and nurses and focus on improving hospital services instead.

Soco, who earlier said that he was not managing Powerline, said he has no data on how many doctors or nurses are hired by the provincial government.

“As to his idea (of scrapping Powerline contracts), he (Sanchez) is always free to propose that to the provincial government where he is part of,” said Soco in a text message. (Cebu Daily News)


  1. hai...nako! when will government officials say ."I'M DOING THE RIGHT THING"?? kailan kaya?????

  2. so true...and the Powerline doesn't pay the Mandatory benefits for the employees & breaching the contract that they themselves made it for their own advantage. The increase in salary was no where to be found (though its stipulated in the contract) & gross, they received the clothing allowance (from the government) for the employees who work for the government but then they DEDUCTED the uniform allowance from the salaries of the employees.
    They treat the professionals as crap & dumb where in fact most of their workers are licensed in the respective fields. They are so unethical & its very much a big crime. I don't know who can take down this seriously and address this matter for utmost urgency.


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