No salary increase is included in the proposed budget of the Department of Health for next year.
In a phone patch interview over The Chiefs of TV5, DOH secretary Francisco Duque III revealed the salary hike for nurses was not factored in the budget proposal for 2020 as the Supreme Court (SC) decision upholding Salary Grade 15 entry level pay came a bit late.
“I did not really know when the SC was rendering its decision so when we proposed budget – in fact our budget for 2020 was reduced – so quite frankly, we did not include that in the proposed budget of DOH,” Duque explained.
Salary Grade 15 is at P30,531 this year, based on the final tranche of the Salary Standardization Law.
Duque said that they support the SC decision for government nurses, but it is actually the call of Congress which can pass a law to generate funds for the increase.
“If the Congress pass a law to mandate the executive departments to source the money to pay all these government nurses Salary Grade 15, then that should be enough to compel the DBM (Department of Budget and Management) and Department of Finance to source the funding,” he said.
Duque is also advocating for salary adjustment of nurses in the private sector.
“That should be the correct direction to pursue. Otherwise, you’re going to have a situation wherein most nurses in the private sector will just keep transferring to the public sector,” he said.
“That will compromise the ability or the capacity of the private hospitals to provide quality nursing care which is important and complementary service to the overall healthcare mandate of these private hospitals.
Meanwhile, Anakalusugan Party-list Rep. Michael Defensor said that they are now finding ways to implement the salary hike as soon as possible.
“We will be pushing for the increase. So it will be either this year or next year. Pero definite na ho yan (The increase is already definite),” Defensor said.