SENATOR Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan wants to raise from P19,000 to more than P26,000 the salary of entry-level nurses.
Pangilinan aims to stop some 22,000 health professionals from leaving the country every year, thus he refiled Senate Bill 965, or the Comprehensive Nursing Law of 2016.
“Libu-libo sa ating mga health professionals ay mas pinipiling magtrabaho sa ibang bansa dahil may kakulangan sa oportunidad sa Pilipinas at hindi sapat ang kita,” Pangilinan said.
The measure also aims to reform and strengthen the public health sector by ensuring adequate compensation and just working conditions for the nursing profession.
“Tayo ang pinakamalaking exporter ng nurses sa buong mundo, bagamat malaki rin ang pangangailangan dito sa ating bansa. Kaunting porsyento lamang ng mga taga-probinsya, lalo na ang mga mahihirap, ang nakikinabang sa serbisyo ng mga propesyonal sa larangan ng medisina,” Pangilinan said.
According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 22,000 health professionals leave the Philippines annually to work abroad, or almost 85 percent of Filipino nurses citing “unemployment, low salaries, and unjust working conditions” as primary reasons for leaving.
Republic Act 9173, or the Nursing Law of 2002, provides that the salary grade of nurses working in government institutions shall not be lower than 15. However, the issuance of the Salary Standardization Law 3 in 2009 pushed back the basic pay of government nurses to Salary Grade 11 (P19,077 in the first tranche).