Malacañang on Wednesday said officials responsible for delays on the Department of Health’s (DOH) payout to medical workers could face suspensions.

Last week, health workers from government hospitals National Kidney and Transplant Institute, Philippine Heart Center and Lung Center of the Philippines protested delays in the release of their stipends.

A huge portion of the country’s Bayanihan 2 funds was apportioned for healthcare personnel working amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Roque warned officials responsible for the delays that they could be suspended.

“Heads have rolled when the benefits for medical frontliners were in fact delayed; individuals were suspended by the Ombudsman. And I think people in the Health department should learn by way of example that if they don’t want to suffer the same… fates, then they have to pay out soon,” he said in an interview over ANC.

Roque said he had communicated with DOH’s finance department to verify if there had been delays.

“We’re reminding them that people have been suspended for the delay and that more people might be suspended unless it is forthcoming. But let’s give them time to answer first,” Roque said.

The Ombudsman’s office in October last year ordered the suspension of eight DOH officials over irregular budget releases. John Ezekiel J. Hirro