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Government Hospital withholding my Sister's Salary

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Arresto Menor
My sister has been a medical resident under the Pediatrics program of VSMMC in Cebu which is probably one of, if not, the busiest hospital in the Visayas. This hospital has a residency program wherein one of the clauses is that if a resident is unable to have her required documents (case reports, research papers) approved, they will withhold the salary. My sister's salary has been on hold since June. Everytime she submits her papers, it has to go through a lot of hands until the director signs it. This always gets delayed and the papers keep getting pushed back. My sister, who works 24-hour and 36-hour shifts has not been paid since June and it is causing stress in our family. Furthermore, my sister had a miscarriage in December 2014 and adding the pressure of her salary being withheld, this caused her to suffer clinical depression. She has to take meds for life. meds that cost 300/day. She was on the verge of resigning 2 months ago but apparently, they talked her out of it, assuring her that they will prioritize the signing of her papers this time. Unfortunately, the director is delaying it once again. Can anyone advise what we could do?

Notes about this issue:

1.) This is a residency program which she has finished 2 years already so if she resigns, it will mean she has to start from scratch in another hospital so it isnt easy to just quit. Residency programs can take 6 years.

2.) The program contract does state that she will not be paid if her papers are not approved

3.) My sister is fully capable. Board topnotcher in her premed course and graduated from CIM which is the best medical school in the Philippines so she isnt slacking off.

4.) There is politics in the hospital and some old nurses do not like her.

5.) If she quits, she has no chance to get paid and she will be prohibited from the hospital premises.

6.) This has already permanently affected her health

7.) If she does have her papers approved, all the previous months will not be paid. She basically worked for free.

8.) The PhilHealth payout which is also of significant amount is also withheld.

9.) Apparently, it is a common occurence for residents in that hospital to not get paid. Where does the money allocated for their salaries go to?

10.) Their requirements arent easy to accomplish. Some hospitals will assign one case for the resident to submit a case study about, this hospital requires that all cases be submitted for a case study and doctors here can have hundreds of patients a month compared to other hospitals.

So my questions are:

1.) Is this legal?

2.) Can we approach the ombudsman about this practice?

3.) If yes, how do we go about it?

4.) Does anyone know someone we can approach?


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Prision Correccional
Is the hospital private or government owned? if private, the Ombudsman has no jurisdiction.

Your action should be with the NLRC.
Hours of work done is hours of worked paid. Meaning, your sister cannot be denied of the salary earned for the hours of work she have rendered. Just make sure her DTR's are properly signed by her immediate supervisors, or the least, at least you have documentary evidence to prove your claims. Talked to the hospital administrator first, if still no salary within a week, tell them that you are going to settle in the NLRC, just prepare for the complete paper works(case studies, etc..) that she needed to comply in order to receive her salary, since you will be expecting the hospital will be telling the NLRC that she have not complied with the requirements that is why her salary was withheld.

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