Displaced workers of Sto Niño Hospital in Cam Norte get monetary benefits: DOLE

One hundred displaced workers in a local hospital in Camarines Norte received their monetary benefits in the amount of P10,903,082.69 with the help of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Region V through the Mediator-Arbiter Unit with the assistance of the Quick Response Team (QRT) of Camarines Norte Provincial Field Office.

DOLE Regional Director Atty. Alvin M. Villamor said that the settlement emanated when workers of Sto. Niño Hospital in Daet, Camarines Norte notified the department about the closure of the establishment due to business losses.

Sto. Niño hospital completely ceased its business operations on September 3, 2017 to prevent further financial drain.

In response to the concern, DOLE Bicol activated its QRT to evaluate the hospital’s compliance with labor laws with the aim to protect the worker’s right to benefits once displaced from their jobs.

Under the settlement agreement, Sto. Niño hospital was required to pay its affected workers back wages and separation pay in four (4) tranches.

The first tranche of payment, which is 25 percent of the total amount of monetary benefits or amounting to P2,725,765.78, was given to the workers last December 16, 2017 and April 30, 2018.

The hospital issued a post-dated check for the remaining tranches dated June 13, 2019, December 13, 2019 and June 13, 2020.

Ms. Edina Zamudio, who had been with the hospital since it started its operation received the highest claim amounting to P467,548.21

“I am thankful to DOLE for facilitating the settlement. We had been given what was due us in return of our loyalty and service to the company for a very long time,” Zamudio said.

Meanwhile, Atty. Joan N. Noya-Nidua said the settlement is an instance in which the balancing of the workers’ rights and the management’s cause are best reflected.

“With such huge amount involved, extracting its fulfillment in the shortest time possible is a challenge the Office has hurdled to ensure that the workers’ rightful claims will be given to them,” Atty. Nidua said.

“This is a collaborative effort – not only of the Office. We commend the herein employer for assuming obligation and not abandoning the workers who have served them all through good and bad times,” Regional Director Atty. Alvin M. Villamor said. // With reports from Med-Arb Unit and DOLE Cam. Norte PFO