The Department of Budget and Management said it issued a circular that would fund an increase in the minimum base pay of nurses working in government hospitals, nearly two decades after it was mandated by law. The adjustment came as medical workers continued to brave the COVID-19 frontlines.
Budget Circular 2020-4 cited Section 32 of Republic Act No. 9173 or The Philippine Nursing Act of 2002, which "provides a minimum base pay of not lower than Salary Grade (SG)-15 for Nurses working in the public health institutions." The SG-15 tier pays P32,053 to P34,801 per month. This compares to the current entry-level pay for nurses at SG-11 or P22,316 to P24,391 per month.
The wage bump will cover 6,627 Nurse 1's in government hospitals, Budget Assistant Secretary Rolando Toledo said.
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said other public health workers should also get a similar benefit. "Making such a grant is the duty of the government, not merely a prerogative," he said in a statement. "We must not valorize our frontliners with platitudes. They are best honored by providing them with PPE (personal protective equipment), better pay and support services, which they have earned for themselves with their sacrifices and selflessness."