A law directing the national government to pay nurses in government-owned hospitals P24,000 a month as minimum salary has not been implemented for 14 years.
The Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) said Section 2 of Republic Act (RA) 9173, or the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002, provides, “In order to enhance the general welfare, commitment to service and professionalism of nurses, the minimum base pay of nurses working in public health institutions shall not be lower than Salary Grade 15.”
Salary Grade 15 is around P24,000.
Since the implementation of RA 9173 fourteen years ago, a nurse in a government-owned health institution gets around P18,000 as minimum base pay instead of P24,000, PNA president Paulita Cruz noted.
Cruz said the PNA is strongly hoping that the incoming administration of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte will rectify this grave and deliberate mistake of previous administrations.
The Philippines has more than 800,000 registered nurses but over 200,000 of them are not working as nurses.
Cruz said a big majority of the 500,000 working registered nurses are underpaid and yet extremely exploited because each of them handles more than 30 patients per shift.
She pointed out that PNA believed that the ideal ratio between a nurse and patient is one nurse per 12 patients.
Having this numerical ratio, nurses could ensure “quality patient care” than one nurse handling more than 30 patients per duty because nurses are strongly pressured, overworked and exploited in the latter’s arrangement, especially those working in private hospitals, Cruz explained.
Nurses in the privately-owned hospitals get P6,000-P8,000 per month, PNA data showed.
The Manila Times has gathered that there is a very big number of nurses who are receiving around P3,000 per month, which is categorized as an allowance plus a certificate of employment as a nurse.