Senator and Chair of the Senate Committee on Health Christopher “Bong” Go has expressed his support for the proposal of the Department of Health to raise the salary grade of government nurses in the Nurse II positions to SG-16 following an earlier adjustment made to upgrade the pay of entry-level nurses (Nurse I) to SG-15 from SG-11.
“Suportado ko po ang suhestyon ng DOH na itaas ang salary grade ng mga nurses na nasa Nurse II position upang mabigyan sila ng tamang compensation na naaayon sa kanilang kasanayan, kaalaman at karanasan,” said Go.
“Mahalaga po na magawa natin ito lalo na ngayong may pandemya at nais nating pataasin ang morale ng ating mga frontliners. Tandaan natin na may mga pamilya rin silang binubuhay. Ibigay natin sa kanila ang suportang kailangan nila bilang sila ang bayani sa laban na ito kontra COVID-19,” he added.
In 2019, Go was one of those who pushed for and ensured enough funding is allocated for the implementation of a Supreme Court decision upholding Section 32 of the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002 which increases the minimum salary grade of the Nurse I position to SG-15 eighteen years after a law providing such increase was enacted.
On July 2020, the Department of Budget and Management issued Budget Circular No. 2020-4 to implement the ruling as it provides for the upgrading of the SG allocation of the Nurse I position from SG-11 to SG-15. However, as a result, those who are Nurse II at present and, as such, are already receiving SG-15, will find themselves with their salary unchanged and with their positions reclassified to Nurse I.
Given this, the DOH proposed to raise the SG of Nurse II to SG-16. Go expressed his support for the DOH’s proposal, saying that the movement of nurses holding Nurse II is necessary to ensure their compensation is commensurate to their position.
“The functions of the former Nurse Il position merited a higher qualification standard, salary grade, and skills and experience as opposed to Nurse I,” explained Go.
Go mentioned that RA No. 9173 aims to “enhance the general welfare, commitment to service and professionalism of nurses”. Therefore, the DOH proposal keeps good faith in the implementation of the law.
“Higit sa 3,000 nurses na po ang nag-abroad sa unang tatlong buwan nitong taon, habang 10,000 nurses naman ang lumabas ng bansa noong 2020,” said Go.
“Sa panahong ito ng pandemya, dapat nating suportahan at pataasin ang morale ng ating mga nurses sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng sweldo na nararapat lamang para sa kanila para manatili sila sa bansa,“ he added.
Go is a known advocate of improving health care access in the country and the promotion of rights of healthcare professionals.
Earlier, Go filed Senate Bill No. 395, also known as the “Advanced Nursing Education Act of 2019”, which seeks to protect and improve the nursing profession by instituting measures that will result in relevant nursing education, humane working conditions, better career prospects and a dignified existence for our nurses.