Bongbong Marcos vows to address pay gap between gov’t, private nurses
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Thursday vowed that his administration will address the disparity in salaries between nurses working in government hospitals and those working in the private sector.
He said this is among his administration’s goals in “raising the profile and improving the working conditions of nurses,” whom he called heroes.
“As part of our goal to raise the profile and improve the working condition of nurses, we seek to address the disparity in salaries between government hospitals with those in the private sector,” Marcos Jr. said in his speech at the Philippine Nurses’ Association 100th anniversary.
He also stressed the need to address the “uneven distribution” of nurses in the country by also addressing issues related to health facilities, benefits and security, and tenure.
Marcos said the government recognizes the hard work and sacrifices Filipino nurses make, acknowledging that the benefits nurses and healthcare workers get may be “lacking.”
He cited the disbursement of P25.82 billion worth of benefits to nurses and healthcare workers, including hazard duty pay, COVID-19 sickness and death compensation, meals, accommodation and transportation allowances, life insurance, special risk allowance, and the ONE COVID-19 allowance.
“Sa palagay ko kulang pa ‘yan eh, medyo hirap tayo sa pondo ngayon, kaya’t sa ngayon ganyan lang muna,” he said.
(I think that is still lacking. We are just short on funds right now so that’s all we can do for now.)
He however gave assurance that his office is “always open for meaningful dialogue” to address the issues concerning nurses and allied healthcare professionals.
The President added that he aims to maintain the Philippines’ position as the “gold standard” in providing health care workers to hospitals and health facilities across the globe.
“We will open more slots to the deployment of nurses abroad while striving to improve opportunities domestically,” he said.
The President touted how the service of Filipino nurses is sought after for their compassion and kindness, also crediting them for their role in battling the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
“Diyan nga iba talaga ang ating mga nurse. Marami namang magaling diyan. Pero kahit ‘yung mga foreigner, hinahanap nila, mas gusto nila na ang nag-aalaga sa kanila, mga Pilipino na nurse at hindi naman kataka-taka dahil kapag alagaan ka ng Pilipino na nurse gagaling ka talaga,” he said.
(That is where our Filipino nurses are exceptional. There are many who are good, but even foreigners seek the service of Filipino nurses because it is ensured that they will get better.)
He spoke of his personal experience with nurses when he contracted COVID-19 in March 2020.
“During my fight against COVID-19 I benefited from the able and healing hands of competent Filipino nurses,” Marcos Jr. said.
“Because of you and the sacrifices that you made, knowing that there is a risk involved, but because of that sacrifice, because of that compassion, because of that professionalism, our nation has survived the most difficult moments of this pandemic,” he added.
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