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Congress rallies behind Marcos vow to improve nurses’ lot

September 5, 2022 Jester P. Manalastas 243 views

RIZAL Representative Fidel Nograles, chairman of the House Committee on Labor and Employment, assured President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. of Congress’ cooperation in improving the conditions of nurses.

Earlier, Marcos promised nurses his administration will work on addressing various issues surrounding the nursing profession during the 100th anniversary of the Philippine Nurses Association, Inc.

“Makakaasa ang bansa na makikipagtulungan tayo sa pangulo upang mapatotoo ang matagal nang inaasam ng ating mga nurse na mapabuti ang kalagayan nila, pangunahin na ang pagpapataas ng kanilang sahod,” Nograles said.

The solon said Congress will look at how it can intervene to establish a better working environment for Filipino nurses.

“ Ang dami nating nurse, ngunit hindi napupunan ang mga pangangailangan natin sa ating mga health institution dahil sa samu’t saring dahilan. We have to find out what we can do to avoid such impasse, and avoid crippling our healthcare system because our nurses do not wish to work here,” the lawmaker added.

He cited the need to engage the private sector in finding solutions to bridge the disparity in pay between nurses working in public and private hospitals.

Entry-level nurses with items in public hospitals are paid over P35,000 (Salary Grade 15), while those in private institutions reportedly get paid at around P12,000 monthly. Those who work in the provinces reportedly get much lower pay than their city counterparts, and do not get the same benefits.

Such disparity, which has gone on for years, is pushing nurses to seek better employment opportunities abroad, Nograles said.

He stressed that solving the wage disparity is a complicated issue that cannot be addressed simply by passing a law mandating hospitals to increase nurses’ wages.

“The fact is, some hospitals also simply cannot afford to increase their personnel’s salary,” he said.