By Ben Rosario
Unless government takes determined moves to increase the pay of state nurses, government hospitals will experience a shortage of nurses that might adversely affect delivery of basic health services.
This warning was issued Friday by former Quezon City Rep. Mike Defensor as he vowed to push for legislation that would increase the minimum base pay of state nurses to Salary Grade 15.
Defensor, who is making a political comeback as nominee of Anakalusugan Partylist, said the debate on whether or not a joint resolution of Congress can repeal the section on compensation of the Philippine Nursing Act should be addressed immediately.
“It will be a disservice to our dedicated, if not overworked, public nurses if we do not give the compensation due them,” said Defensor.
“To avoid legal confusion, we will remedy this by pushing for a new measure that will give just compensation to our state nurses and increase their minimum base pay to Salary Grade 15,” he added.
Earlier, Solicitor General Jose Calida said the government cannot be compelled to increase the salary of public nurses “without any legal basis.”
Calida said Section 32 of the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002 which increases the entry-level pay of nurses in public health institutions to Salary Grade 15 has effectively been repealed by a 2009 Joint Resolution by Congress.