By Ali G. Macabalang
Salaries of nurses in Lanao del Sur under the Human Resources for Health (HRH) program that have been delayed this year were downloaded to their Marawi City-based Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) last week, Bangsamoro OIC-Health Minister Amirel Usman announced Tuesday, April 6.
“As far as I know, the salaries covering January to March this year for HRH nurses across the Bangsamoro region have been downloaded last week to their respective IPHOs. In fact, those in Maguindanao ay nagsweldo na,” Dr. Usman told the Philippine Muslim Today (PMT) news over the phone.
Asked how many nurses are involved in the salary delay in Lanao del Sur alone, Dr. Usman said there are more or less 800 in the province alone.
The PMT reached out to Dr. Usman shortly after receiving a tip from one Hadji Mustapha Mohammad Naif asking for assistance concerning the delay of nurses’ salaries in Lanao del Sur this year.
“Salam, sir. I hope you can expose the delay in the salaries of nurses in rural health units (RHU) in LDS (Lanao del Sur)….The delay involves three months among nurses in Lanao. Nurses in other provinces already received their salaries. We pity our nurses. The Ramadan fasting is nearing and they are penniless,” Naif said in the vernacular.
Dr. Usman said his ministry and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) government do not have control of the inflow and outflow of RHR nurses.
Salaries of HRH nurses are coming from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) through the Department of Health (DoH), which subsequently downloads the funds to the BARMM’s Ministry of Health (MoH), he said.
The payroll of HRH nurses expires every three months, requiring the DoH to ask for a quarterly fund from the DBM, Dr. Usman said, adding that the request is subject to Presidential approval.
Such type of salary differs from other government agencies’ compensation schedules that Congress appropriates on a yearly basis, he said.
Dr. Usman suggested that strong representation in local and national levels be made for Congress to appropriate the HRH nurses’ salaries on an annual basis to prevent the delay-prone mode of their compensation. AGM