Cainta Mayor Kit Nieto on Friday said there was no government neglect in the case of a city nurse who died fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, amid the viral post of the nurse's daughter.
Interviewed on Dobol B sa News TV, Nieto explained the alleged reduction of the hazard pay of the nurse in Cainta Municipal Hospital. He said P300 is the hazard pay in Cainta and not P150, contrary to the claim of a nurse's daughter.
"Ang situation dito sa Cainta, we decided in pegging it as P300 so nagulat ako doon sa artikulo na lumabas na P150 a day ang binibigay namin. Hindi, P300 ang binibigay namin," Nieto said.
For 60 days, a health worker could receive P18,000, Nieto pointed out.
Nieto said the nurse, Ma. Theresa Cruz, was only present for 33 days so she was not able to get the entire P18,000.
Nieto explained that before the COVID-19 pandemic, Cruz was already receiving a daily hazard pay worth P239 on top of her monthly salary of P21,000.
The local government of Cainta just added P62 to complete the P300 hazard pay in accordance with the policy of the national government, he said.
"Ano ang sabi ng national government... kung ang empleyado mo ay tumatanggap na ng hazard pay, siguraduhin mo lang na 'yung binigay mong basehan ay madadagdagan ang hazard pay niya para maging kumpleto doon sa peg mong amount na P300," Nieto said.
"Kung nakakatanggap na siya ng P239, binuo namin 'yun na P300 kaya nagdagdag siya ng P62 basta makumpleto lang niya 'yung P300. Kailangan mo makumpleto 'yung P300 eh," he added.
Nieto also admitted that they cannot provide a P500 hazard pay to the health workers as they prioritized the needs of families, especially those who lose jobs amid the health crisis.
"Hindi namin talaga kaya kasi inuna ko 'yung mga tao, 'yung mga taong nasa labas ng munisipyo kasi sila 'yung nagugutom. Naglabas kami ng pera para magpakain ng mga tao ng dalawang buwan," Nieto said.
In a Facebook post, Nieto dismissed the allegation that the nurse was denied a COVID-19 swab test. The mayor said Cruz was the one who decided to no longer be subjected to a swab test as she claimed to be feeling better.
"Hindi din totoo na tinanggihan siya sa request ng swab. Siya ang nagdecide na i-cancel ang request dahil maganda na daw ang pakiramdam niya. Nilagay ko na ang text convo para mabasa ninyo at maintindihan. Sila sila pa ba naman ang hindi magtutulungan eh sila sila rin naman ang nasa ospital," Nieto said.
Nieto also said the nurse was not assigned at the hospital's COVID-19 ward.
"Hindi rin siya na-assign na magalaga ng covid patient. Dahil sa kanyang history ng ailments, sa pedia ward siya nilagay ng hospital director," he said.
Nieto mentioned that the local government has provided P50,000 financial assistance for the bereaved family. He also talked to the daughter of the nurse whose post went viral on social media.
"Walang may gusto ng nangyari pero di naman naging manhid ang gobyerno at ang mga kawani nito sa kalagayan ng namatay at pamilya ng namatayan," Nieto said.
"Kung hindi naging sapat ang pagtugon ng ospital o ng aking opisina sa mga pangyayari, I would extend my apologies. But I will not just let this pass at tatahimik kahit na alam ko kung ano ang totoong nangyari at kung ano ang ginawa ng gobyerno para ibigay sa kanila ang tulong na kaya nitong ilaan," he added.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government has already said it would look into the incident. —KBK, GMA News