Understaffed Cebu nurses appeal for PPE, hazard pay amid surge in COVID-19 cases

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 27) — Nurses in Cebu cry for help as they continually run low on supplies and manpower in their fight against COVID-19 in the province.

Philippine Nurses’ Association (PNA) Cebu Chapter President Joseph Descallar admitted in a CNN Philippines interview Saturday night that many nurses in Cebu are already contemplating on quitting their jobs due to unmet benefits and incentives.

According to him, medical institutions either give their hazard pays late or not at all.

“In terms of hazard pay, we humbly urge private institutions to provide the same incentive to all our nurses... and for all government agencies to release such in a timely manner,” PNA Cebu said in a statement

Descallar added that more and more nurses are being sent to quarantine facilities, leaving hospitals with understaffed healthcare workers.

“Totoo po na we are very understaffed. Ang ating mga nurses ay under quarantine... Our nurses are wearing PPEs for eight to 10 hours.”

[Translation: It is true that we are understaffed. Our nurses are under quarantine.]

Descallar also shared that some nurses find it difficult to commute to and from their respective hospitals due to strict border controls. He said most of them resort to walking home.

The country now has 23,667 active cases, with Cebu now a COVID-19 hotspot.