House leader calls for release of gov't nurses' pay hike

By Filane Mikee Cervantes

February 20, 2020, 6:46 pm

MANILA -- A leader at the House of Representatives on Thursday called on the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to immediately release the basic salary increase of government nurses as mandated by Congress and the Supreme Court.

House Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero said nurses deserve the much-needed pay upgrade amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) threat, as he called for the proper implementation of the Republic Act 9173 or The Philippine Nursing Act of 2002.

The law states that the minimum base pay for nurses working in government hospitals and health institutions should start at salary grade (SG) 15 or PHP31,545 per month.

“It is important that we now finally adjust the compensation for nurses in hospitals run by the national government in the wake of the novel coronavirus menace. Our nurses play a vital role in attending to infected patients and preventing the spread of the deadly virus,” Romero said.

“Let us now end that long wait by giving them what the law has entitled them to almost two decades back. The Supreme Court has upheld the law and Congress has provided the necessary funds for the higher salary of nurses,” he added.

In October, the SC upheld the validity of a provision of RA 9173 which sets the minimum pay for government nurses from SG 11 to SG 15.

“This means that our lowest-paid nurses in national government-run hospitals should be getting PHP9,737 more in basic monthly salary. As of their last payday, they have not received their pay increase,” Romero said.

Romero said Congress has allotted PHP3.2 billion in the 2020 national budget for the nurses’ salary adjustment.

“Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano made sure funds were included in the budget for carrying out the Supreme Court decision. Even before other lawmakers spoke on this issue, the Speaker had assured us that the salary of government nurses would be increased in compliance with the ruling,” he said.

“All the DBM now had to do is to implement the mandate of Congress and the SC ruling,” Romero added. (PNA)