The Department of Health (DOH) assured nurses waiting for their deployment under the Human Resource for Health (HRH) program that they will be hired and regularized once the national budget is signed by the President.
DOH Undersecretary Roger Tong-an revealed on Saturday, April 6 this positive development in the regional convention of Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) held in San Jose, Batangas.
As a keynote speaker of the event, Tong-an said that somebody informed him that the pending 2019 national budget will be probably signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, April 8.
“If the budget will be approved this coming Monday, all of the 17,000 of the nurses in the [Nurse Deployment Project] will be appointed as regular in their position. Ready na po ‘yon, and we are exempted from the Comelec (Commission on Elections) ban,” Tong-an explained.
[Related: DOH issued statement on HRH Deployment]
Meantime, only 6,574 nurses will be deployed for months of April, May, and June due to pending budget, he said. They were the same nurses hired since January who will be continuing their services until June, with Salary Grade 15 Tranche 4 or P30,000+ a month.
The salary for regularization of NDP nurses will be taken from Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund (MPBF) which will be requested from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) once the president sign the General Approriations Act (GAA, or the national budget).
As the DOH Undersecretary for Administration and Finance cluster, Tong-an said that with the delayed approval of budget, he had been ‘collecting’ money to re-align for nurses’ salary but it was eventually used for other programs most especially in measles outbreak response.
The undersecretary also said that they are given until 2020 to regularize all the job orders in the DOH, including those in the hospitals.
“Last Thursday I signed the new standards for hospital beds, from 200 to 1,500 which were already submitted to DBM for approval,” he said.
Tong-an further assured that HRH distribution will be made more equitable by providing competitive compensation and better working conditions especially in the underserved areas that needs HRH the most.
Watch Usec. Tong-an during the 2019 PNA Regional Convention in Batangas (Credit: Ropert Baladad).