By Gabriela Baron
A lawmaker has offered three options to source the funds needed for the salary increase of government nurses.
Anakalusugan Partylist Representative Mike Defensor said the government can use the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund to raise the salary of entry-level public nurse from P15,000 to at least P30,000.
“One of the proposals that I said was to credit from the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund,” Defensor said in an interview with CNN.
He noted that President Rodrigo Duterte used the same fund to hike the wage of the Armed Forces.
“Or number two, because the president ordered the increase of salaries under the Salary Standardization Law for teachers and nurses, pwede naman ‘tong gawin next year (it is still possible to pass another Salary Standardization Law next year). Kahit anong mangyari (it is possible), it will happen,” Defensor added.
The lawmaker also added that Congress may also pass a supplemental budget.
“Everyone knows that nurses should be given better salary than what they’re getting now. There’s already a law so we really need to come up with the fund to increase their salaries,” he ended.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a petition to uphold Section 31 of Republic Act 1973 or the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002, which provides public nurses a Salary Grade 15 or a P30,000 in minimum pay.
Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said DOH is supporting the proposal to increase the salary of government nurses if there is enough budget.
“If there is money to fund it, great, we support it 1,000 percent,” Duque said.