Pay hike for gov’t nurses this year or next – solon

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    THE Supreme Court’s decision upholding higher salaries for government nurses is most likely to be implemented next year by the Department of Budget and Management, Rep. Michael Defensor of the Anakalusugan party-list group said yesterday.

    “It will either be this year or next year that this salary increase for our nurses in the public sector will be implemented,” Defensor told the “Ugnayan sa Batasan” news forum.

    Defensor, who expressed confidence the Senate will support the House in its bid to increase the nurses’ salary grade from 11 to 15, said Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has discussed the matter with Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.

    He said the House leadership through Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab, chair of the House appropriations committee, will coordinate with the DBM for funds to be released.

    Defensor earlier urged Congress leaders to pass a joint resolution authorizing the increase in the base pay of nurses in the public sector, following a favorable Supreme Court ruling upholding the validity of the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002.

    The decision increased to Salary Grade 15 (P30,531) the minimum pay of nurses retained by the national government, mostly in hospitals run by the Department of Health. At present, their floor pay is pegged at Salary Grade 11 (P20,754).

    Nurses employed by local governments are also expected to benefit from the ruling, though their higher entry-level pay would be less than P30,531, and would instead depend on how big the province, city or municipality is.

    Defensor earlier said a joint resolution is one approach, and depending on the overall cost, Congress could also simply authorize the sourcing of the money from the lump sum Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund in the General Appropriations Act.

    He said Congress did the same thing in 2017, when it passed a joint resolution authorizing the increase in the base pay of military and uniformed personnel, and sourcing the cash from the MPBF.

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