Anakalusugan Rep. Michael Defensor on Sunday said Congress could pass a joint resolution increasing the salaries of nurses in public hospitals.
“The House and the Senate have the option to pass a joint resolution putting into effect the higher starting pay of P30,531 for nurses employed by the national government,” Defensor, vice chairman of the House Committee on Health, said.
He explained that a joint resolution was one way that Congress could authorize the release of money from the lump sum Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund (MPBF) in the budget.
This scheme was done in 2017, when a joint resolution was passed authorizing the pay hike of military personnel, which was also sourced from the MPBF.
“Our sense is Congress is ready to implement the improved compensation for nurses, as provided for by law and upheld by the Supreme Court. It is just a question of how best to do it,” Defensor said. “In any case, for us to be able to fund the pay increase, the House Committee on Appropriations has to ascertain the extra money required, and Malacañang, through the Department of Budget and Management, may have to certify the availability of funds.”
The Supreme Court recently upheld the validity of the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002, which raised the minimum pay of nurses to Salary Grade 15 or P30,531. Currently, the basic pay of nurses is pegged at Salary Grade 11 or P20,754.