By | September 3, 2020
Health workers

Malacañang on Thursday said it recognizes the need to raise the salary grade of nurses and other healthcare workers who work in public hospitals and health institutions.

In a virtual Palace briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark after a study by data aggregator iPrice Group showed that Filipino nurses and medical technologists earned the least compared to their peers in Southeast Asia.

He said the solution to public nurses’ low salaries is raising their salary grades under the Salary Standardization Law (SSL).

“Ang solusyon po diyan ay siguro bago iyong classification—o baguhin iyong classification ng nurses sa government Salary Standardization Law nang mailagay ang mga front-liners natin sa mas mataas na salary grade ‘no (The solution there is making new classifications of nurses under the Salary Standardization Law so that we can give our front-liners a higher salary grade),” he said.

[Related: Gov’t nurses get Salary Grade 15 pay of P32,053.]

As for nurses in the private sector, Roque expressed hope that their employers would also raise their salaries to entice them to stay in their homeland.

“Ngayon pong maraming nurses na gustong umalis, siguro naman iyong mga pribadong ospital magbibigay rin nang mas mataas na sahod para engganyuhin na manatili sa Pilipinas ang mga nurses (Now that there are many nurses who want to work abroad, perhaps private hospitals will also give a higher income to entice nurses to stay in the Philippines),” he said.

According to Roque, the government is addressing healthcare workers’ low salaries through the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2 which provides PHP40.5 billion to fund the government’s health-related programs.

“Ang ginawa na po natin sa pamamagitan ng Bayanihan 2 ay binigyan natin ng karagdagang hazard allowance ang mga front-liners natin (What we did was we provided additional hazard allowance for our front-liners through Bayanihan 2),” he said.

He noted that additional benefits such as life insurance, free accommodation and transportation, and free and regular testing for all medical front-liners are also provided for healthcare workers.

From Salary Grade (SG) 11, nurses in public hospitals and health institutions currently receive salary amounting to Salary Grade (SG) 15, increasing their income by as much as PHP10,000 per month under the SSL.

The iPrice Group study showed that mid-level nurses in the Philippines earn much lower than nurses in Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

Filipino nurses earn around PHP40,381 per month while their Southeast Asian counterparts earn at least PHP63,000.

The study also showed that a Filipino nurse’s salary is “57 percent less than the next lowest paid” registered nurse in Vietnam.

Meanwhile, mid-level Filipino medical technologists earn PHP29,444 per month, also much lower than their Southeast Asian counterparts who receive between PHP57,000 and PHP210,000. (By Azer Parrocha, PNA)

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