Increase of Basic Pay for Government Nurses sought in Congress

The Supreme Court upheld its ruling that government-employed nurses should have a basic pay not lower than salary grade 15. Senator Franklin Drilon urged the Senate Finance Committee to look for means for the salary appropriation citing possible funding sources.

The Supreme Court upheld its ruling that government-employed nurses should have a basic pay not lower than salary grade 15. Senator Franklin Drilon urged the Senate Finance Committee to look for means for the salary appropriation citing possible funding sources.

Senator Franklin Drilon proposed to the Senate Committee on Finance to consider utilizing funds from other government programs to supplement budget to raise the salary of government nurses. There are 7,193 nurses designated as Nurse I which would call for an additional Php 1-billion in salary expenses for 2020. RA 9173 or the Philippine Nurses Act of 1991 guarantees delivery of basic health services by designating nurses through the government health system. This however is jeopardy as the Department of Health (DOH) budget has been trimmed down despite the looming expenses required to conduct the newly-passed Universal Healthcare (UHC) law.

By law, Drilon stated that under the current pay scheme, nurses working in public hospital must be Php 30,531 however nurses are only compensated Php 19,233 monthly.

Among the possible sources such as the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund (MPBF), revenues from the sin tax law, and budget from the postponed 2020 barangay and sangguniang kabataan elections.

Drilon stated: "We owe it to our nurses who provide patients 24/7 health care in overcrowded government hospitals, which sometimes comes at the expense of their own health and wellbeing." Nurses would play a vital role in the realization and fulfillment of the UHC goals. 

Drilon aims to seek ways for the salary increase for nurses when congress resumes the national budget for 2020 deliberations this November.

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