Cynthia Villar backs nurses' salary increase

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Cynthia Villar has expressed her support for government nurses' wage hike.

Villar said on Sunday that the salary increase is necessary for nurses to encourage more students to take up nursing in college. She lamented that the shortage of nurses in the country is because many youth no longer see it as a lucrative profession.
Cynthia Villar backs nurses' salary increase

Cynthia Villar backs nurses' salary increase
Senator Cynthia Villar supports wage hike of government nurses | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Cynthia Villar

Villar said in an interview, "Nagrereklamo na ang mga government hospitals that they are short of nurses kasi kakaunti na ang nag-aaral ng nursing."

"Mae-encourage natin 'yan kung well-compensated sila sa trabaho nila," she added.

The senator shared her strong support to the nurses calling them "frontliners." She said nurses are very significant, especially in areas where there are no doctors.

Villar said, "Very supportive tayo sa mga nurses kasi frontliner natin 'yan e. In fact, sa mga probinsiya, kapag may kulang na mga doctors, 'yung nurses natin ang maaasahan natin."

Villar's remark came after the Supreme Court upheld the validity of a legal provision setting the basic salary of nurses working in the government to Salary Grade 15 or about P30,000.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier said they will support the decision but questions on where the funds will be taken.

"At the end of the day, the question is meron bang pondo?" he said.

Villar commented that the funds for the nurses' salary increase can be taken from "unaccounted projects of the DOH.

"You have to limit yourself sa allocated sa (Department of) Health. Pero malaki ang allocated sa Health. Sometimes, kumukuha sila sa unprogrammed accounts. Doon siguro ang pagkukunan nito," she said.

It can be recalled that back in 2013, Villar apologized for her controversial remarks against nurses. She said nursing students need not to finish their degrees because they will only become "room nurses" abroad.

Villar said, "I truly am sorry for having offended the feelings of your members. It was never my intention to belittle anyone, least of all, the valiant members of the nursing profession."

— Sally, The Summit Express

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