A lawmaker has filed a bill in Congress seeking to increase minimum pay of nurses to Salary Grade 21 or P60,000 monthly.
Anakalusugan Party-list Mike T. Defensor on October 28 filed House Bill 7933 which aims to improve the minimum base of nurses working in public institutions from Salary Grade 15 to Salary Grade 21. To recall, Republic Act 9173 which gives nurses entry-level pay of SG 15 was just implemented this year, or 18 years after it was enacted.
In his Explanatory Note, Defensor noted the delay in implementation of SG 15 salary and wanted to raise it even more in accordance with Salary Standardization Law.
“This bill seeks to make the monthly base pay of government nurses somewhat comparable to those being offered to newly-hired Filipino nurses in the Middle East and Europe,” Defensor said.
He added that once enacted, this will “help discourage the exodus of Filipino nurses to the Middle East and Europe, so that our public health system may be assured of an adequate supply of new nurses in the years ahead.”
Filipino nurses working in Germany earn around P111,000 per month while those in Saudi Arabia are estimated to earn P60,000 to P80,000.
If approved, the measure will give nurses P60,901 monthly in the first year, P62,449 in the second year and P63,997 in the third year onwards.
Currently, nurses working in Department of Health (DOH) hospitals receive a minimum salary of P32,053 per month, which will steadily increase every year until it reaches P36,619 by January 2023 under the new Salary Standardization Law for government workers.
Defensor first floated the idea of increasing nurses’ salary in April this year, saying that the country might face a severe shortage of nurses in the future when COVID-19 pandemic is over as demand for these health workers abroad will shoot up.
“We foresee wealthy nations around the world rushing to expand the capacities of their public health systems and stepping up their recruitment of Philippine-educated nurses once the COVID-19 pandemic is suppressed,” said Defensor.