Solon files bill to give gov’t nurses starting salary of Php 60K per month

MANILA, Philippines – A solon has proposed to nearly double the current salary of state nurses in an effort to make them stay in the country instead of working abroad.

Solon files bill to give gov’t nurses starting salary of Php 60K per month

Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor formally filed House Bill 7833 that will give government nurses a starting pay of over P60,000 per month. The bill recognizes the efforts of the nurses amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and even hailed them as "heroic frontliners."

Under Defensor's proposal, all nurses working in public health institutions will have an entry Salary Grade of 21. This is a huge leap from the current starting pay of nurses at Salary Grade 15 which is at around P32,053.

Defensor said there is an urgent need to address the huge number of nurses seeking better opportunities abroad instead of working in the country.

We are already losing around 19,000 nurses "every year to foreign employers. A decade ago, we were losing only 12,000 of them annually. Unless we assure our nurses a higher standard of living here at home, we are guaranteed to lose a larger number of them in the years ahead,” Defensor warned.

The lawmaker said that while the Philippines cannot compete with the salary given to nurses working in Europe and America, the government can match those in Saudi Arabia.

"We cannot match the starting pay being offered by North American and European hospitals to Filipino nurses, but we can match the rate being offered by employers in Saudi Arabia, for instance,” Defensor said.

Defensor noted that Filipino nurses working in hospitals in Saudi Arabia receive around P60,000 while those who work under "private duty" receive more at around P80,000.

In Europe, the rate for nurses is higher with a starting salary of around P115,000 to P137,000, while in the United States the rate is equal to around P185,000, Defensor stressed.

Defensor already made the same call in the height of the COVID-19 lockdown around April. He also shared his observation that the country’s production of new nurses has slowed down through the years.

SEE ALSO: VIRAL: Nurse advocate says “Philippine nursing is dying”

Meanwhile, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte "approved the lifting of the temporary suspension of deployment of nurses and other medical workers" last Saturday, November 21.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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