Mayor Sara’s trust fund for SPMC workers depleted

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 18 Aug) – The trust fund of the local government here that was established using the one-year salary of Mayor Sara Duterte at P2.1 million as assistance for the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) health care workers who contracted coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has already been depleted.

Mayor Sara Duterte visits an isolation facility in Davao City. Photo courtesy of the City Government of Davao Facebook page

In her live interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5), Duterte said that a total of 55 frontline health workers from the SPMC received the cash aid from the local government.

The local government distributed P50,000 each to the first batch, then later reduced to P30,000 to apportion equally the remaining funds for the second batch of beneficiaries.

Last April, the local chief executive announced that she was donating her one-year salary to frontline health workers who tested positive for COVID-19 to help them get through the pandemic.

Duterte said additional eight SPMC workers received cash aid worth P30,000 each from a donor since the funds were depleted last month.

“I thought, at that time, that the P2.1 million was a big amount. But with several health workers who tested positive, it was just a small amount as a trust fund for them,” she added.

As of August 13, the SPMC reported a total of 137 employees who tested positive for COVID-19 with three deaths.

SPMC officer-in-charge Ricardo Audan said of the total infected personnel, 66 percent came mostly from non-COVID-19 facilities while only 34 percent from areas devoted for COVID-19 treatment.

“Most likely, it’s because when you are in COVID-19 area, you are very particular, you are more careful compared to non-COVID areas,” he added. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)