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Chiz seeks pay hike for public dentists

May 5, 2023 Camille P. Balagtas 161 views

SENATOR Chiz Escudero wants to increase the salary of some 2,000 dentists employed in the public sector to attract more dentists to enter and remain in government service.

Escudero made the proposal under Senate Bill (SB) 2082, or the Public Dentist Salary Modification Act, after co-authoring a measure that seeks to provide pay hikes to thousands of public school teachers.

Based on Escudero’s proposal, he is pushing to increase the entry-level salary four notches up to P43,030 – which at present is the equivalent of Salary Grade (SG) 17 – from the current P31,320 or SG-13.

“One of the primary reasons why the government fails in recruiting dentists is the disparity between the authorized remuneration for public dentists and the potential income dentists could earn in private practice,” he said. “Private dental practice can potentially earn more than what the government can offer, and without the stringent requirements and restrictions that come with employment in the civil service.”

Citing a report from the National Database of Selected Human Resources for Health, the veteran legislator said there are only 1,943 dentists employed in the public sector as of December 2022, leaving only one public dentist to cater to the oral health needs of about 57,423 Filipinos.

“Kulang na kulang ang bilang ng ating mga dentista na nasa gobyerno. With the proposed salary adjustment, hopefully, we will be able to retain our existing dentists in the public sector and attract new ones as well,” the senator from Sorsogon pointed out.

SB 2082 seeks to modify the salary grade schedule for dentists employed by all agencies and instrumentalities of government, including national government agencies, government-owned and -controlled corporations, state universities and colleges, and local government units (LGUs).

Aside from putting the Dentist I position to SG-17, the other levels are likewise adjusted to the following: SG-20 for Dentist II (P57,347); SG-23 (P71,511) for Dentist III; SG-25 (P102,690) for Dentist IV; SG-27 (P131,124) for Dentist V; SG-29 (P167,432) for Dentist VI; and SG-30 (P189,199) for Dentist VII.

“I am hopeful that through this intervention, more students would be enticed to study dentistry, and more qualified dentists will enter and remain in government service,” Escudero stressed.

Last year, Escudero co-authored with Sen. Sonny Angara SB 324, which sought to adjust the SG entry level of public school teachers from SG-11 (P27,000) to SG-19 (P51,357). The bill is still pending before the following committees: Civil Service, Government Reorganization and Professional Regulation, Basic Education, and Finance.