MANILA - Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan has filed a bill to raise the salary of entry-level government nurses in the country up to P30,500 to dissuade Filipino nurses from going abroad for higher-paying jobs.
Under Senate Bill 260, entry-level nurses working in government institutions will receive a salary not lower than Salary Grade 15 (SG-15) or equivalent to P30,531.
"Ang layunin ng panukalang ito ay ang mapabuti ang kalagayan ng propesyon ng nursing at ang itaguyod ang kalidad ng pangangalagang pangkalusugan para sa lahat ng mga Pilipino," Pangilinan said in a statement.
(Ultimately, the goal of this measure is to improve the plight of the nursing profession and to promote quality health care for all Filipinos.)
Pangilinan said nurses in the country receive low salaries while working long hours, which entice them to seek greener pastures abroad.
“So we have a situation of Filipinos taking care of the health of foreigners while our kababayans hardly ever see a health professional,” he said.
Pangilinan cited Department of Labor and Employment’s Bureau of Local Employment (DOLE-BLE) data which shows that an entry-level registered nurse receives a monthly salary of P8,000 to P13,500.
Nurses also in government hospitals receive an average monthly salary of P13,500 while those employed in private hospitals get about P10,000.
The World Health Organization reported that around 22,000 health professionals leave the Philippines yearly to work abroad making the country the biggest world’s largest source of nurses.
Pangilinan said Senate Bill No. 260 will provide a quality health care system to address the concern over low compensation and burden of Filipino nurses.
The bill also proposes to set procedures toward relevant nursing practices, just and humane working conditions, and the promotion of professional growth of nurses to enhance their general welfare and commitment to the country.