Bill seeks P50,000 monthly pay for public, private nurses
MANILA, Philippines — Heeding the call of nurses’ groups to increase the entry-level pay of nurses to keep them from going abroad, the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives has filed a bill seeking to set a minimum monthly salary of P50,000 for nurses in government and private hospitals.
House Deputy Minority Leader France Castro of the ACT Teachers party list stressed that it is not true that the Philippines has a shortage of nurses, but “we simply cannot provide decent salaries and benefits to Filipino nurses to entice them to stay.”
“We urge Congress to heed the calls of our nurses to increase their minimum salaries to P50,000 per month. Increasing their minimum salaries would encourage more nurses to stay in the country and serve the Filipino people instead of working abroad,” she said in a statement.
Filed on Sept. 8, House Bill No. 4599, or the Salary Increase for Nurses Act, will apply to nurses working in public and private health facilities, regardless of employment status.
The bill’s explanatory note said the entry-level monthly salary for nurses in the government is P32,097 under the 2022 salary standardization law, but entry-level nurses in the private sector are paid between P8,000 to P13,500 a month.
Moreover, Maristela Abenojar, president of Filipino Nurses United, earlier told journalists that while some public hospital nurses receive P35,000 monthly under Salary Grade 15, this is deceiving because thousands of government nurses are contractual and get much less.
Teachers are in an even worse situation with entry-level positions getting paid only P25,439.
Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian has been pushing for a law to increase teachers’ salaries since 2019, but it was sidelined by the pandemic.
Gatchalian pointed out that the situation has become so bad that Filipino teachers make less than their counterparts in Southeast Asia. “In Indonesia for example, the entry-level pay of teachers is P66,099 compared to the P25,439 entry-level pay of Filipino teachers,” he said in a statement.
“It is time to raise the salary of our teachers since they play an important role in educating our youth,” said Gatchalian, who was reelected last May.
Under his Senate Bill No. 149, or the proposed “Teacher Salary Increase Act,” the senator wants to raise some salary grades by two steps.