Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles has offered to donate his two months’ salary to boost the capacity of two government hospitals in Quezon City in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak.
Nograles said he intends to contribute his one-month salary to East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC) and another month’s salary to the Quirino Memorial Medical Center (QMMC).
The Cabinet official, assigned as big brother to assist Quezon City in its coronavirus response, made the donation after marking his 44th birthday last September 3. He initiated a fund-raising drive online for the health frontliners employed at two government hospitals to celebrate his birthday.
“Dalawang buwan kong hindi ibibigay sa misis ko ‘yung sweldo ko. (I won’t be able to give my salary for two months to my wife),” Nograles said in an interview over DZBB Sunday.
Based on the 33-level pay scale of government workers, Cabinet members or department secretaries earn P262,965 in basic pay under salary grade 31. With the law raising the salary of state workers in four tranches starting 2020 until 2023, those under salary grade 31 are expected to get a higher wage of P301,095 this year.
Based on the Commission on Audit report on salaries of government officials released last July, Nograles had a total earning of P4.5 million in 2019.
Nograles explained that he sought to raise funds for the two hospitals to help with the recruitment of health workers and improvement of their facilities.
He said the East Avenue Medical Center, located in Quezon City, recently launched a new treatment facility to accommodate more coronavirus patients. The Quirino Medical Center, he added, is also working very hard in the fight against the pandemic.
Nograles noted that the local government of Quezon City is hiring additional health frontliners to boost its workforce in battling the pandemic. He said they have set aside a budget for the recruitment of health workers.
“Kung mayroon tayong nurses or medical laboratory technicians na naghahanap ng trabaho, willing po ang Quezon City na mag-hire ng mga health workers. (If there are nurses or medical laboratory technicians looking for jobs, Quezon City is willing to hire health workers),” he said.
He said the city has implemented 48 special concern lockdowns to screen, isolate and treat patients.
Quezon City has so far recorded more than 23,000 cases of infections as of September 5.