Gordon pushes for equal wages for public nurses
Senator Richard J. Gordon is pushing to end the inequality in wages between public regular and contractual nurses by setting the same standard for both.
Gordon, chairman of the finance subcommittee “G”, lamented the discriminatory treatment contractual nurses are getting from the Dept. of Health (DOH) in terms of wages received.
“There should be no distinction between regular and contractual, they studied the same thing, and when they go there because they are needed, why should they be second-class citizens?” questioned Gordon during his interpellation of the DOH's 2022 budget.
“They should be paid. It is the duty of the government to raise the money to be able to save our citizens not to scrimp on the money para maapi ang mga nurses,” he added.
Currently, entry-level nurses, or Nurse 1 in the government plantilla, are renumerated at a salary-grade 15 level, which starts at P33,574.
However, contractual nurses are not given the same compensation, as they are only equated to a salary-grade 11 level of P23,877.
He added that numerous nurses are discouraged by the ordeal and opted to head overseas in search of greener pastures, a move that has also been hampered through the government's current 6,500 yearly quota on nurse departures.
Gordon, who has long championed the rights of public and private healthcare workers, stressed that they should be compensated a decent living wage for their professional caliber that is recognized even in first-world countries.
To help recognize the heroic duties of all public and private hospital workers, Gordon filed Senate Bill 2371, a measure that extends special risk allowance and hazard pay to all public and private healthcare workers.
“Ang nakalagay dito, inequality sa hazard pay. Babayaran mo ang nurse ng gobyerno na mataas, di naman qualified ang private nurse, talagang aalis yan,” Gordon exclaimed.
Last year, Gordon filed a bill amending Republic Act 9173 or The Philippine Nursing Act of 2002, which provides a new comprehensive policy for Filipino nurses that will give them opportunities to advance themselves in the nursing field while they serve the country’s growing needs for healthcare professionals.
Gordon also inserted an important provision in the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act providing a P1 million benefit to health workers who died of COVID-19 and P100,000 for those who contracted a severe case.