Laguna Representative Ruth Mariano-Hernandez proposed a measure to regulate the salaries of the government doctors and nurses to boost the country’s medical management on the current worldwide health crisis.
According to the lawmaker, she believes that the health workers are vital to the local public health care system hence; they deserve sufficient compensation and essential benefits that enable them to be inspired under the House Bill 7053.
The proposal will escalate the honorarium and assistance to medical professionals modifying the Republic Act No. 7305 or the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers. If ever this will implement, physicians’ monthly income will increase from Php 59,353 to Php 87,074 while the nurses’ wages will rise from Php 22,316 to Php 35,106.
Aside from Hernandez, other lawmakers also consider the draft legislation. In fact, Baguio City Representative Mark Go is planning to meet with the officials of the Department of Budget (DBM) to talk about the concerns by the Filipino Nurses United.
On the other hand, Bayan Muna Partylist Representative Ferdinand Gaite said that there is a salary adjustment for the nurses with an amount of Php 3 billion.
Hernandez is also requesting for the following:
- Php 5000 monthly allowance with no income tax
- Php 75 per meal as a provisional fee
- Php 500 a month quota for laundry and clothing
- Php 1250 rice subsidy
- Special Longevity Pay comparable to a monthly salary for every ten years in service
- Special Risk Allowance of the monthly wage by 25 %
- Php 100,000 remuneration for the injuries or contact of any disease and;
- Php 1 million for death during workload
On a report by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), the community health personnel in the remote areas are paid less than Php 50 a day. PIDS Research Fellow Michael Abrigo stated that the capacitated frontline workers do not enjoy the same level of benefits and other aids regardless of their work in full time.
The budget especially in the countryside is also a challenge. The Local Government Units (LGU) only depends on the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) that restricts their chances of increasing the workers’ payment.
The House Committee on Health Vice-Chairperson reiterated that the front liners are underpaid and overworked despite being the modern-day heroes amid the pandemic. The bill was applied last July 2 and will have its first hearing when the House of Representatives will resume the assembly later this month.