Toledo hospital workers told: Report back to work as volunteers

SUSPENDED Toledo City Mayor John Henry Osmeña advised all job order (JO) employees of the Toledo City Hospital who were terminated last March 8 to report back to work Monday, March 12, as volunteers.

In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Osmeña said he takes "full responsibility that until now, the budget for 2018 has not been approved yet, merely to protect the money intended for Toledo City."

"I am on suspension for the same reason. If you will not vote for me, that is fine with me," he said.

READ: Ombudsman suspends Toledo City mayor

A P1.2-billion budget, which includes a P2 million allocated for the salaries of JO workers, was proposed this year for the Toledo City Hospital, but it has not yet been approved, resulting in the termination of the contract of 120 JO workers.

READ: No budget, no Toledo hospital

Toledo City Acting Mayor Antonio Yapha accused Osmeña of ordering the City Council to derail the budget approval. He said the City Council, on Osmeña’s orders, wants to sabotage his work as acting mayor.

But Osmeña earlier accused Yapha of committing a “cruel political ploy.”

"The termination of the 106 job employees of the city hospital is a clear picture of political harassment to hostage the city councilors to approve the budget for 2018," he said in a Facebook post Monday.

He advised all those terminated to "go to the office of Councilors Merly Abad, Joie Piczon-Perales and Arlene Zambo, and the rest of the councilors, to have your names listed and report back to work today (March 12) through Dr. Arlene Perez as volunteers."

He assured them that he will seek the help of Therma Visayas, Global Electric Power, Carmen Copper Corporation and Atlas Fertilizer Corporation to cover the JO workers' salaries.

Osmeña said "the re-enacted budget took effect, so there is no reason why there is no budget for basic services which includes that of the City Hospital."

"Let us all keep our watch and be vigilant," he added. (LMY/SunStar Philippines)