Solon Urges 75% Salary Increase for Nurses as 8K PH Graduates Aim to Work Abroad

“Pandemic Heroes”: Filipino nurses working hard during the Covid-19 pandemic | Image Credit: TED ALJIBE / AFP

MANILA, Philippines – On Monday, Quezon City 4th District Rep. Marvin Rillo urged for the passage of House Bill No. 52746, which will increase the basic pay of nurses in government health institutions, encouraging them to stay and work in the Philippines.

Under Rillo’s HB 52746, which he filed to amend the 20-year old Philippine Nursing Law, the lowest base pay of nurses working in public health institutions would be raised by 75-percent, from PHP36,619 to PHP63,997.

The bill’s measure proposes that “the minimum base pay of nurses working in public health institutions shall not be lower than Salary Grade 21 prescribed under RA No. 11466, or the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) of 2019”.

This comes after Rillo, vice chairperson of the House Committee on Higher Technical Education, learned that 8,128 nursing graduates in the country took the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) this year from January to June, as a stepping stone to be employed in the United States.

“The number represents an increase of 129 percent when compared to the 3,550 Filipino nursing graduates that took the US licensure examination, or the NCLEX, for the first time in the same six-month period in 2021, excluding repeaters,” Rillo said.

Rillo said the data is a strong indication that more Filipino nurses are aiming to practice their profession in America “mainly on account of record-high paychecks there”.

Just last month, the Department of Health said public and private hospitals in the Philippines need of a total of 106,541 nurses to fill vacancies.

In a State of the World’s Nursing Report by the World Health Organization, the Philippines may expect a 249,843 shortage of nurses by 2030, “unless greater investment is made now to retain them in the local health sector”.

“We really have to invest more aggressively to retain our nurses in public hospitals – to discourage them from leaving for higher-paying jobs abroad after practicing only for one or two years here at home,” Rillo said.

To address the situation, Senator Raffy Tulfo earlier this month proposed granting full government nursing scholarships to deserving students, who in turn will be required to serve in government hospitals for at least four to five years after graduation.

Sources: Philippine News Agency, Manila Bulletin

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