Taguig hospital nurses fired for ‘Liking’ doctor’s Facebook status

More than forty nurses in a Taguig hospital claimed they were fired for ‘Liking’ a volunteer doctor’s Facebook status message ranting about politics in the workplace.

According to a report on ABS-CBN’s primetime news program “TV Patrol,” 46 contractual nurses from the Taguig-Pateros District Hospital (TPDH) said ‘Liking’ a lady doctor’s post on the social networking site cost them their jobs.

“May I express how I feel for a very special hospital--TPDH? We all have freedom and right for expression anyway. Honestly sayang kase disappointing!!! The hospital’s heads do not understand each other and each have their own followers. And so, the hospital services suffers. Much more the dignity of all the staff, nurses and doctors and everyone else who work at the hospital,” she wrote.

The nurses were reportedly terminated last August. They are complaining that the hospital did not issue certificates of employment.

The doctor, who agreed to be interviewed by ABS-CBN News but requested anonimity, said she did not regret her action.

On the other hand, a TPDH representative explained that the termination of the nurses’ contracts had nothing to do with the controversial Facebook status message.


Our take on this issue:

First, contrary to comments online, the incident happened in August, two months before the Cybercrime Prevention Act took effect so this is not a test case for the new Cybercrime Law.

Second, as far as we know, in cases like this the employer has the prerogative whether or not to issue a Certificate of Employment to a contractual worker, also called Job Orders (JOs) in government offices. Records show that TPDH is government-owned. It was established on December 16, 1994 through Republic Act 7842.

Non-renewal of the nurses’ contracts does not constitute illegal dismissal because there was no “employer-employee relations” that existed between them and TPDH.

It’s interesting to know though if those who got terminated were exactly the same nurses who had hit the ‘Like’ button for the doctor’s post.