Sen. Panfilo Lacson welcomed on Sunday the government’s move to finally increase the salary of government nurses, saying the move would greatly benefit those who are working in the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19.
Lacson recalled pushing for funding the pay hike thru an amendment to the P4.1-trillion 2020 national budget.
The money would provide much-needed support especially for the frontliners fighting the COVID threat.
“Definitely, no amount is enough to show our appreciation for the sacrifices and hard work of our nurses, especially those in the frontlines,” Lacson said.
“Still, this pay increase – which was sought even before the COVID pandemic hit – will be of help to them in one way or another,” he added.
“As all of us are now dealing with the ‘new normal’ due to the pandemic, the pay increase should hopefully make a difference for them.”
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has appropriated the funds for the increase.
Last July 17, the DBM issued Budget Circular 2020-4 increasing the entry-level salaries of government nurses from Salary Grade 11 to Salary Grade 15.
Some P3 billion was earmarked in the 2020 national budget under the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund (MPBF) for the implementation of the salary upgrading of State nurses.
During the budget deliberations last year, Lacson ensured that the 2020 national budget contained a new special provision – increasing the salary grade of government nurses – in which the base pay of government nurses shall be Salary Grade 15 in compliance with the Supreme Court decision GR 215746.
During his interpellation on the Department of Health 2020 budget, Lacson noted P3.173 billion is needed for the salary upgrade of government nurses to enable them to attain Salary Grade 15.
“As the funds are already there under MPBF, government nurses need not wait for the passage of legislation or the availability of funds to be provided by DBM,” the senator said.