Acting Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama (center) turns over a check worth P12-million to DOH Central Visayas to hire additional nurses for hospitals in the city currently overwhelmed with Covid cases. (Screengrab from PIO)

The Cebu City government turned over Monday a P12-million check to the Department of Health (DOH) – Central Visayas to hire 100 additional nurses as Covid cases increase in the city.

Acting Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama presented the check to DOH Central Visayas Assistant Regional Director, Dr. Guy Perez, who described the financial aid as “timely” as hospitals in the city are overwhelmed.

Perez said they will fast track the hiring process of additional nurses to be deployed in various private and public medical facilities in the city.

City Councilor Eduardo Rama, committee chairman on social services, said the P12-million financial aid will be good for three months’ salary of the nurses.

The city councilor, a nephew of Acting Mayor Rama, asks Cebuano nurses to heed their appeal to work for the city as it continues to battle the pandemic.

Acting Mayor Rama assured that the city is addressing the backlog on the release of some 98 job-order nurses’ delayed salaries from previous months.

Dr. Jeffrey Ibones, officer-in-charge of the City Health Office, said the city council has approved a supplemental budget for the nurses’ salaries up to the end of the year.

Ibones said salaries of the job-order nurses will be included in their next year’s budget to avoid delays in the release.

The city has so far hired some 40 nursing attendants, pharmacists, and encoders as the city ramps up its response to the pandemic. – Ryan Sorote