To recognize and support the country’s nurses who were at the very center of the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, Deputy Speaker and Davao 1st District Rep. Paolo “Pulong” Duterte filed House Bill No. 7569 or the “Mininum Wage for Nurses in the Private Sector Act of 2020.”
The bill directs the national wages productivity commission of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to establish a minimum wage for nurses in private hospitals.
“Despite our nurses’ big efforts, those working in private hospitals and clinics 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, a paltry amount that is less than what a minimum wage earner gets each month,” expressed Duterte.
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. Although still a far cry from the salaries of their counterparts abroad, it is a huge improvement in the salaries of nurses working in the public sector, Duterte added.
The bill aims to enable the State to step in to protect and improve the financial situation of nurses who face deadly diseases in privately owned hospitals on a daily basis.
“With this bill, we will provide adequate remuneration and benefits to compensate our nurses (even in the private sector) who are facing danger everyday in their duty as crucial frontliners in our battle against the coronavirus,” explained Duterte.
The Deputy Speaker added: “The State must ensure that nurses in the private sector are properly compensated. The passage of the bill will serve to thank and encourage private nurses to stay in the country rather than go abroad.”
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.
Under the bill, 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. A public hearing shall be held for this purpose and shall be determined by the Secretary of Labor.