Beginning next year, nurses working in public health institutions of the national government will be enjoying a salary increase of not lower than Salary Grade 15 after the Senate Committee on Finance approved needed appropriations pursuant to Supreme Court decision upholding Section 32 of the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002.
Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, said that the long overdue proper compensation for government nurses is now within their reach as the salary hike they deserve will be implemented early next year.
“I also want to commend the Committee on Finance and our distinguished colleagues for taking measures that would allow us to implement the Supreme Court decision upholding the validity of Section 32 of the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002, which provides that the ‘minimum base pay of nurses working in the public health institutions shall not be lower than Salary Grade 15,’” Go said.
“This is a long overdue compensation denied to them. Hindi na natin sila paghihintayin pa…magkakaroon na sila ng increase sa kanilang sweldo…next year,” he added.
Go’s statement was part of his explanation of vote during the third and final reading for the 2020 national budget.
With the Senate’s approval of the proposed budget for fiscal year 2020, P3.173 billion has been appropriated to upgrade the salaries of Nurse I and II positions.
In his speech, Go emphasized that “public health should be one of our priorities.”
“As Chairman of the Committee on Health, I commend this chamber for approving the additional P7 billion for the Human Resources for Health Deployment Program. This is to ensure the continued employment of our health workers in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas and economically disadvantaged municipalities. Wala pong mawawalan ng trabaho, tuloy-tuloy po ang serbisyo,” he said.
Go has also commended the Senate Finance Committee for the increase in the budget of PhilHealth, which will be of big help to progressively realize universal health care in the country and to ensure that all Filipinos are guaranteed equitable access to quality and affordable health care.
With sufficient funds for the health sector, Go urged DOH and PhilHealth to “ensure judicious and prudent use of public funds” as he expressed his trust and confidence that the government agencies involved will institute reforms to improve its efficiency in spending their funds.
Go also said that he will prioritize the passage of a new Salary Standardization Law (SSL) which will provide for the increase in the current salaries of all government workers.
He filed in July Senate Bill (SB) 200 or the proposed “Act Modifying the Salary Schedule for Civilian Government Personnel” which seeks to increase the salaries of all government workers, including nurses and teachers.