SEN. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said he supported the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) upholding section 12 of Republic Act (RA) 9173, or the Philippine Nurses Act of 2002, which states that the minimum of base pay of nurses in public health institutions should not be lower than salary grade 15.
“Importante po sa atin ang mga nurses at suportado natin ang kanilang pagkapanalo sa Supreme Court (Nurses are important to us and we support their victory in the Supreme Court) ,” Go said during the Senate plenary debate on the proposed 2020 P96.3 billion budget of the Department of Health (DoH).
The proposed DOH budget was later deemed submitted and approved by the Senate finance committee.
Go, chairman of the Senate health committee, stressed that the high tribunal has not been taken yet into consideration in the proposed 2020 DoH budget because the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the DoH were still studying the needed appropriation for it.
In the current tranche of salary grades, salary grade 15 earns as much as P31,545 a month. It could go higher to P33,279 a month. Salary Grades 10-11 provide for a monthly compensation of P22,055.
Low pay, coupled with long shifts, drives Filipino nurses to leave home to get foreign employment.
“DBM and DoH are still studying the needed appropriation to implement the decision,” he said.
Go said that the implementation of the high court ruling would cost around P3.17 billion annually based on the existing salary schedule.
“We need your cooperation to implement the decision and address the possible wage distortion brought about by the Supreme Court decision,” Go said.
Go said that he would prioritize the passage of a new Salary Standardization Law (SSL) for now which would provide for the increase of the current salaries of government nurses and other workers.
“For now, we will prioritize the passage of a new Salary Standardization Law (SSL) which will provide for the increase of the current salaries of government nurses and other workers,” he said.
Go filed in July Senate Bill (SB) 200 an Act “Modifying the Salary Schedule for Civilian Government Personnel” which seeks to increase the salaries of all government workers, including nurses and teachers.