Legarda lauds Presidential Memorandum on Nurses’ Pay

June 8, 2021

Three-term Senator, now Deputy Speaker, Loren Legarda welcomed the issuance of the Memorandum from the Office of the President that reverts the July 2020 circular of the Department of Budget Management (DBM) calling for an increase in the salary for entry level nurses. Said circular, however, effectively demoted senior nurses to a lower salary grade.

“I am glad to hear that nurses will finally receive what is due them. Although the DBM Circular 2020-4 has provided a higher salary grade for entry-level nurses from Salary Grade (SG) 11 to Salary Grade (SG) 15, it adversely affected the employment status of long-serving senior nurses,” Legarda said.

“It may have taken them years to earn the promotion from Nurse I to Nurse II, thus they do not deserve the demotion resulting from the issuance of the 2020 Circular. The issuance of the Malacañang Memorandum is a welcome development for our Filipino nurses almost two decades after the passage of the Republic Act 9173 or the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002. Equitable opportunities especially within the sector are what the nurses need and deserve,” Legarda added.

With the issuance of the Memorandum, Nurse I will receive entry level salary grade 15, Nurse II’s salary will be increased by around Php 3,000 by promoting their salary grade from SG 15 to SG 16. Whereas, Nurse III to Nurse VII will retain their current salary grades.

“This salary increase is minimal compared to the amount of sacrifices and service rendered by our nurses, especially in challenging times like this current pandemic. They have been suffering not only from physical fatigue from their seemingly unending shifts but also from tremendous emotional and psychological stress just to fulfill the solemn oath they took despite knowing the risks and threats of the virus,” Legarda said.

The three-term Senator has long been pushing for legislation geared towards increasing salary and benefits for nurses and health care workers to give them the assurance that despite the enormity and danger brought by their duty, their rights are protected and their concerns will be addressed. However, until now, our nursing sector are still heavily underpaid, not properly compensated, and deprived of training and re-training opportunities that is why a majority of nurses would rather leave the country to find greener pasture abroad.

“We cannot just utilize the service of our hardworking nurses without giving adequate assistance to their daily needs as working individuals of this society. They are performing their duties to provide the essential healthcare services, devoting their time, energy, and sacrificing their personal safety to help the general public survive and communities to thrive, especially amid the pandemic. We have passed the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act and the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, which I co-authored, to ensure that our nurses receive adequate assistance during the pandemic and also to give assurance that their rights and safety are being prioritized most especially in these trying times. But this is not enough compensation for their unparalleled contribution. We have great laws but we have to make sure that these laws are effectively implemented,” Legarda said.

“Together, let us reaffirm our support for our nurses, our modern-day heroes. Let us invest more in improving our human capital, provide our nurses with the benefits due them to entice them to stay and continue practicing their noble profession in the country,”Legarda concluded.***