Bills in Congress seek to increase gov’t physicians’ pay
MANILA, Philippines—A lawmaker who happens to be a doctor has filed a bill doubling the minimum base pay of government physicians to encourage more of them to serve in public hospitals. A similar bill is pending in the Senate.
Under the proposal of Masbate Rep. Scott Davies Lanete, the salary of government doctors shall move up from Grade 16, amounting to P26,878 a month, to Grade 27, or P62,670 a month, and they shall be provided a monthly allowance of P2,500 on top of other existing allowances.
In an explanatory note to House Bill 5263, the lawmaker said the present salaries of resident doctors discourage them from staying and continuing their service in government hospitals.
“The reality cannot be denied that physicians are not encouraged to serve in public hospitals and institutions because at present, the basic wage of doctors in provincial and municipal hospitals is only P26,878 a month, or Salary Grade Level 16,” he said.
Lanete, a vice chairman of the House committee on poverty alleviation, said his proposal would promote and improve the social and economic well-being of government physicians and their living and working conditions.
“Through the proposal, more medical professionals will be encouraged to work in government hospitals. Furthermore, the proposal aims to afford government doctors the right to decent pay and benefits, and provide an incentive to them for their service to the community,” he said.
Lanete said raising government doctors’ salaries is in line with Article 2, Section 15 of the Constitution, which states that “The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them.”
House Bill 5263 is now pending in the appropriations committee chaired by Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab.
If passed, the proposed law will apply to all government physicians duly certified by the Professional Regulatory Commission, who are in the active practice of medicine, employed by the national government or a local government unit, either in public health institutions or in any government or a local government unit.
At the Senate, a counterpart measure, Senate Bill 319, has been filed by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, who said the bill seeks to discourage the steady exodus of Filipino physicians to seek high-paying jobs abroad.
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