MANILA – Presidential son and Deputy Speaker for Political Affairs Paolo Duterte is pushing for a minimum wage for private hospital nurses which can match the basic salaries of their counterparts abroad.
Duterte recently filed House Bill No. 7569 or the “Mininum Wage for Nurses in the Private Sector Act of 2020,” in recognition and support for the country’s nurses who are currently at the heart of the country’s battle against against the global coronavirus pandemic.
Duterte noted that despite big efforts of private hospital nurses, “they are still paid considerably less than their counterparts in the public sector around the globe.”
“Registered nurses receive an average salary of P9,757 a month, this paltry amount is even less than what a minimum wage earner gets each month,” Duterte said.
Under Duterte’s proposal, the National Wages Productivity Commission of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will establish a minimum wage for nurses in private hospitals.
Recently, the government has declared that nurses in the public service are entitled to a minimum monthly salary equivalent to Salary Grade (SG) 15, depending on the class of the city or municipality.
A government employee with SG15 may receive anywhere from P19,845 to P30,531 each month. A far cry from the salaries abroad, it is a huge improvement in the salaries of nurses working in the public sector.
But the situation of private hospital nurses is way beyond the benefits being enjoyed now by their counterparts in the state-run hospitals and other medical facilities.
The Presidential son’s HB 7569 aims to enable the State to step in to protect and improve the financial situation of our nurses who face deadly diseases in privately owned hospitals on a daily basis.
“With this bill, we will provide adequate ‘renumeration’ and benefits to compensate our nurses (even in private sectors) who are facing danger everyday in their duty as crucial frontliners in our battle against the coronavirus,” the Davao City solon explained.
“The State must ensure that nurses in the private sector are properly compensated to thank and encourage private nurses to stay rather than go abroad,” he added.
Under the measure, upon review of relevant factors such as the cost of living; private hospital location and its bed capacity, the National Wages Productivity Commission (NWPC) of the DOLE will set an increased minimum wage for nurses in private hospitals.
Based on Duterte’s proposed legislation, prior to the setting of the minimum wage, a report to the Secretary of Labor and NWPC shall first be submitted on the recommended minimum wage for nurses in the private sector.
Thereafter, notice of the report shall be given to Department of Health (DoH), the Philippine Nursing Association, the Philippine Board of Nursing, as well as other stakeholders included, but not limited to, the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines, and a public hearing shall govern the conduct of the public hearings to be held for this purpose shall be determined by the secretary of Labor. (JCC)