House Minority Leader and Abang Lingkod Partylist Rep. Joseph Stephen “Caraps” Paduano on Monday, March 8, has asked for the immediate scheduling of the inquiry into the complaints aired by government nurses against the “unjustified” issuance of a Department of Budget circular that affected their compensation.
Paduano said Department of Budget Circular 2020-4 has adversely affected the employment status of medical frontliners in public hospitals and other health institutions run by government.
The DBM circular has reportedly resulted in diminution of salaries of affected nurses.
“We will not stop until justice is served to our registered nurses. They are our heroes and they deserve no less,” Paduano stressed.
The plight of nurses was brought to Paduano’s attention by Melbert Reyes, national president of the Philippine Nurses Association.
Acting swiftly on the issue, Paduano, in a privilege speech, called on Congress to conduct an inquiry into problem in order that proper legislative measures can be passed to stop the “injustice.” According to Paduano the PNA decried the issuance of the circular as it threatened with demotion and diminution of compensation many government nurses who are now being tapped to help the country fight the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Instead of a pay hike for nurses as prescribed in Republic Act 9173 or the Philippine Nurses Act, DBM Circular 2020-4 did the opposite.
In the PNA letter to Paduano, Reyes also thanked the opposition solon for his efforts in helping government nurses.
Reyes said that through Paduano’s privilege speech, he was able to “give us hope and confidence that our government and the public, in general, would consider significantly our worth and value as the central member of our health care system and, more so, as frontliners serving with all our heart in this very challenging time of an emergency health crisis brought about by the COVID 19 pandemic.” “Thank you for bringing out our inner voice that has been crying out loud for justice. This means so much for us to have more strength and inspiration to continue serving our country and our fellowmen even in adversity,” said Reyes.