Higher pay for gov’t dentists sought in Senate
MANILA, Philippines — A bill seeking to raise the salaries of the nearly 2,000 public dentists in the country has been filed in the Senate to encourage more dentists to commit to government service instead of doing private practice.
The salary grade (SG) for entry-level dentists in government would rise to SG-17— equivalent to P43,030— from the current P31,320 at SG-13, should Senate Bill No. 2082 filed by Senator Chiz Escudero be enacted into law.
“One of the primary reasons why the government fails in recruiting dentists is the disparity between the authorized remuneration for public dentists and the potential income dentists could earn in private practice,” Escudero said in a Friday statement.
“Private dental practice can potentially earn more than what the government can offer, and without the stringent requirements and restrictions that come with employment in the civil
service,” he added.
The measure would bolster wages for the scant 1,943 public dentists employed in the public sector— one dentist for every 57,423 Filipinos, according to December 2022 figures from the National Database of Selected Human Resources for Health cited by the senator.
“Kulang na kulang ang bilang ng ating mga dentista na nasa gobyerno. With the proposed salary adjustment, hopefully, we will be able to retain our existing dentists in the public sector and attract new ones as well,” the senator said.
(We are desperately lacking dentists in the government. Hopefully, with the proposed salary adjustment, we will be able to retain our existing dentists in the public sector and attract new ones.)
“I am hopeful that through this intervention, more students would be enticed to study dentistry and more qualified dentists will enter and remain in government service,” he went on.
Escudero explained that the bill would also modify higher-level public dentists’ salary grades (SG) to the following:
- Dentist II to SG-20 (P57,347) from SG-16 (P39,672)
- Dentist III to SG-23 (P80,003) from SG-19 (P51,357)
- Dentist IV to SG-25 (P102,690) from SG-22 (P71,511)
- Dentist V to SG-27 (P131,124) from SG-24 (P90,078)
- Dentist VI to SG-29 (P167,432) from SG-26 (P116,040)
- Dentist VII to SG-30 (P189,199) from SG-28 (P148,171)
Bohol representative Hon. Alexie Tutor also introduced a similar house bill in November 2021. House Bill No. 10480, or the Public Dentist Salary Standardization Act of 2021, sought to increase public dentists’ salaries to the same grades indicated in Escudero’s bill.