CAINTA, Rizal- In reaction to the social media post of a young woman who claims her deceased mother, a nurse, did not receive the hazard pay she expected from the local government, Mayor Johnielle Keith Nieto said the local government’s priorities are the people who are hungry and in need of immediate assistance.
“Sila ang priority ko — ‘yung mga taong umasa sa gobyerno dahil sa pandemya (They are my priority, the people who depend on the government during the pandemic), “ Nieto said in a DZBB radio interview on Friday (Aug. 14), explaining how the local government prioritized its resources during the first few weeks of the pandemic, resulting in hazard pay of P300 for their local health frontliners.
The mayor reacted to a Facebook post by Joie Cruz detailing her sentiments about the death of her mother, Maria Theresa Cruz, a nurse at Cainta Municipal Hospital, which is under the supervision of the local government.
Cruz received hazard pay of P150 per day instead of the P500 she expected. The nurse died on July 22, before receiving the result of her COVID-19 swab test.
In a statement issued by Mayor Nieto on his personal Facebook page, he said the people who needed help from the government were given priority and would continue to receive assistance from the local government, even as he extended his apologies to Cruz’s family if they felt they did not receive enough assistance from the municipal government and the Cainta Municipal Hospital.
The younger Cruz wrote on Facebook that her mother did not receive the P500 hazard pay that was supposedly due to her.
But Nieto explained that the municipal government, through the municipal hospital, gave P300 hazard pay per day to Cruz, because the local government could only afford that much. As a medical frontliner, Cruz had been receiving P239 as hazard pay plus an amount of P62.93 to make up the P300 per day pegged by the local government.
The local government has extended P50,000 in financial assistance to Cruz’s family, which Nieto said they accepted. He added that his previous conversation with the family was cordial and was surprised to read several weeks later about the sentiments of the nurse’s daughter.
Nieto also posted the text message conversations between the nurse and her superior and the daughter and the hospital official, to refute the sentiments posted by the daughter that her mother did not receive enough assistance from the municipal hospital.
Nieto said he has allotted P15 million for the hazard pay of the local government health personnel. He clarified that the local government can only afford to give P300 daily as hazard pay, based on the available resources of the municipal government.
The mayor also said that local government workers’ pay was never hampered, compared to that of workers in the private sector during the first few months of the pandemic.
(Nel B. Andrade)