Labor group says health workers’ pay raise ‘long overdue’

The local union affiliates of the Alliance of Filipino Workers (AFW) on Tuesday welcomed the initiative of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III supporting Health Secretary Francisco Duque III’s call on Congress to pass a law that would raise the pay of health workers in the private sector.


In a statement, Tiffany Ong, union president of the Iloilo Mission Hospital Employees labor union, 
said this is something that is "long overdue."

"It is long overdue until this pandemic proves the essentiality of the health workers as frontliners in fighting the deadliest virus that (emerged) all over the world including our very own country," she said.

"The private healthcare sectors has been "neglected" for decades in terms of payment of salary and wages specifically the nursing sector," added Ong.

She said this might be their chance to gain success in their effort to amplify the need to have a decent level of salaries and wages that are enough to sustain the present cost of living. 

Last week, Bello said he appealed to Sec. Duque to initiate a proposal to Congress for the upgrading of the pay of nurses and medical workers in the private sector to the level of those in the public sector.

The labor chief said the discrepancy is one of the reasons why many nurses in the private sector are looking to overseas employment rather than stay in the country.