Days after calling for fair compensation for nurses, Senator Richard ‘Dick’ Gordon filed a bill that seeks to amend Philippine Nursing Act of 2002 and change government policy on nursing profession.
Gordon introduced on Wednesday, July 16 Senate Bill No. 562 entitled ‘An Act Instituting The Comprehensive Policy for the Nursing Profession in the Philippines Amending for this Purpose Republic Act No. 9173 otherwise known as “The Philippine Nursing Act of 2002.”
In his recent speech as keynote speaker of 45th ORNAP Convention, Gordon scored the government’s failure to fulfill what is stated in the Nursing Act.
“The government promised them SG-15 pero hanggang ngayon, hindi pa rin nakukuha. Mali iyan. Dapat once you pass the exam, it is the duty of the government to give you opportunities. Once nurses graduate and become licensed, they should be hired by the government at a proper pay,” he said.
He noted that their current salary is not commensurate to their labor, aside from spending a lot of money for their education.
That’s why in the Explanatory Note of his proposed bill, he said that the current policy of the government for nurses is wrong.
“Nurses ought be respected for the hard work that they do as front liners of Philippine healthcare system. Respect is not given when the policy of the government is to send them abroad while leaving them exposed to labor abuses within the country, unprotected,” he stated.
“This, notwithstanding the fact that there is a big demand for nursing services in the country. Approximately 6 out of 10 Filipinos die without ever seeing a healthcare professional.”
Highest importer of nurses
Based on the statistics of the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA), since 2012, there are already 92,277 nurses who left the country. This makes the Philippines the highest importer of nurses worldwide.
“The irony of the policy of sending nurses abroad while our country is suffering from lack of healthcare professionals to support the needs of the people must stop,” Gordon added.
Gordon’s proposed bill is the first measure specifically for nurses filed in the first regular session of 18th Congress. He called on all nurses in the country to support the bill and lobby for its passage.