All nurses employed under the Department of Health’s Nurse Deployment Project (NDP) this year will be renewed for 2020.
Senators made sure during the hearing on the DOH budget that no NDP nurses will lose their jobs next year on account of the projected budget cuts. NDP is one of the programs under the Human Resource for Health (HRH) of the DOH.
“RN pa rin sila, Retained Nurses,” said Senator Ralph Recto in a statement. “With funding secured, no one will be excised from the program.”
In the National Expenditure Program (NEP) for 2020 submitted by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), HRH Deployment Program was only given a total budget of P9.5 billion, with breakdown of P2.5 billion under the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) and P7 billion from Miscellaneous Personnel Benefit Fund (MPBF).
That is not enough as it will result to mass retrenchment of 7,107 nurses. The program needs P16 billion to deploy 26,389 health workers, including 17,293 nurses in 2020.
Recto introduced amendment to infuse P7 billion to the program so there will be “zero casualty”.
“At hindi lang ako ang may ganoong paninindigan at panukala. On both sides of the aisle, our commandment to the DOH is “Thou shall not fire,” Recto said.
Senator Bong Go, sponsor of the DOH budget, also made the assurance on record and in the open during the hearing, with confirmation from the DOH and Department of Budget and Management (DBM) officials in attendance.
“No one will lose their jobs,” Go said when asked by Recto.
That includes the contracts of 597 medical technologists and 202 dentists which will also be renewed. Under the original DOH budget, not one of them will be rehired next year.
In all, about 10,921 health personnel under the DOH-HRHDP will keep their jobs. It would have been a plague-like 40 percent casualty rate had the Senate not intervened.
DOH nurses receive salary grade 15 or P30,531 basic monthly salary plus Magna Carta Benefits such as PERA, subsistence, laundry and hazard pay.