OFW group sees nurses eyeing job abroad despite higher pay

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    AN overseas Filipino worker (OFW) group yesterday expressed belief that Filipino nurses will continue to seek greener pasture abroad despite the recent Supreme Court ruling that government nurses must receive a salary of at least P30,000.

    “Considerably improved starting pay is not expected to hold back Filipino nurses from seeking vastly superior standards of living overseas, especially in North America,” ACTS-OFW chairman Aniceto Bertiz II said.

    He said this is because the P30,531 monthly base pay for government nurses, when computed for the year, amounts to only P396,903, including the 13th month pay.

    “The P396,903 is roughly equal to just 10 percent of the P3.65 million (or $71,730) annual median pay of nurses in America,” Bertiz noted.

    He also said that many young Filipino nurses aspire to work and live in a first world country.

    “We have many young, upwardly-mobile nurses, and other health professionals, who really want to live and work overseas, mainly in America and Canada,” Bertiz said.

    Last month, the SC ruled that government nurses should be ranked SG 15, which is four ranks higher than their current SG 11 category. This is based on Republic Act 9173 or the

    Nursing Act of 2002 which provides that the minimum basic pay of state-employed nurses “shall not be lower than salary grade 15” or at least P30,000.

    The SC ruling, however, is not expected to be implemented this year or next year because there are no available funds.

    Data from ACTS-OFW shows there are a total of 9,195 Filipino nurses who took the United States licensure examination between January to September.

    The number is up by 30 percent than the 7,119 Filipino nurses who took America’s eligibility test during the same nine-month period in 2018.

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