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SC upholds validity of minimum base pay for gov’t nurses at SG 15

/ 02:45 PM October 09, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) has upheld the validity of a provision in the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002, which states that the minimum base pay of government nurses should not be lower than salary grade 15.

The decision was made during an en banc session on Tuesday and was penned by Senior Justice Antonio T. Carpio, the SC Public Information Office (PIO) said.

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While the provision was deemed valid, the Court, however, said that a law still needs to be passed by Congress for its implementation.

“Its implementation would necessarily require a law passed by Congress providing the necessary funds for it,” the SC PIO said.

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READ: SC to hear oral arguments on gov’t nurses’ pay scale

In 2009, the Congress adopted Joint Resolution No. 4 that authorized then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to modify the compensation and position classification system of civilian personnel and the base pay schedule of military and uniformed personnel in the government.

In implementing the said joint resolution, Arroyo then issued Executive Order 811, which among others, reduced the base pay of nurses from salary grade 15 to salary grade 11 while the entry base pay is salary grade 10.

Ang Nars Party-list then filed a petition in 2015 asking SC to compel the government to enforce the Section 32 of Republic Act 9173 or the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002.

The provision states that the minimum base pay of nurses working in public health institutions shall not be lower than salary grade 15.

Named respondents are the Executive Secretary, Department of Budget and Management and the Department of Health.

“In ruling in favor of the petitioners, the Court ruled that Joint Resolution No. 4, being a mere resolution, cannot amend or repeal a prior law such as RA 9173 or the Philippine Nursing Act,” the SC PIO said.

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“The same applies to EO 811, which is also not a law, but an executive directive,” it added.

A copy of the decision has yet to be released. /jpv

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