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Bello to Duque: Push Congress for law raising private health workers’ pay

By: - Reporter / @santostinaINQ
/ 05:36 AM September 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has asked Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to call on Congress to pass a law that would raise the pay of health workers in the private sector.

“In one of our IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) meetings, I appealed to Health Secretary Duque to initiate a proposal to Congress for the upgrading of the [wages of] nurses [and] medical workers in the private sector to the level of [their counterparts] in the public sector,” Bello said in an online press briefing.

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“The discrepancy is really big, and that is the reason why many of our nurses in the private sector are looking to overseas employment rather than stay in our country,” he added.

Bello said he was hopeful the private sector, especially the owners of high-end hospitals, would listen to his appeal as he noted that medical workers, particularly nurses, were overworked and underpaid.

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Bello said that private nurses usually work 10 to 12 hours a day but receive only P15,000 to P18,000 a month, or “way below the rate of nurses in the public sector.”

Some nurses even pay a “training fee” just to work in a hospital, he said.

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TAGS: coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus Philippines, DoH, DOLE, Francisco Duque III, health workers' salaries, medical frontliners, Silvestre Bello III
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