Government nurses’ hope for a much-needed wage increase is one step closer to reality, after the Senate adopted one of Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson’s proposed amendments to the P4.1-trillion national budget bill.
The Senate version of the national budget bill now includes a special provision proposed by Lacson – one of the vice chairpersons of the Senate contingent to the bicameral conference committee tackling the budget bill – to increase the salary grade of government nurses.
Under the new special provision, “Increasing the Salary Grade of Government Nurses,” the base pay of government nurses shall be Salary Grade 15 (P30,531 a month), in compliance with the Supreme Court’s decision (G.R. 215746).
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“The implementation of the salary adjustment shall take effect when the decision of the Supreme Court had become final and executory, but not earlier than the start of Fiscal Year 2020,” read the provision.
Lacson had also specified that the amount needed to fund the implementation of the Supreme Court decision shall be sourced from appropriations for staffing modifications and upgrading of salaries.
During his interpellation of the Department of Health’s 2020 budget last Nov. 19, Lacson noted P3.173 billion is needed for the salary upgrade of government nurses, so they can attain Salary Grade 15.
“We can introduce a special provision and source the P3B from the P12.469B under that particular item (Miscellaneous Personnel Benefit Fund),” he said.
As the funds are already there under MPBF, government nurses need not wait for the passage of legislation or the availability of funds to be provided by the Department of Budget and Management, he added.
“They don’t have to wait six months or another year. By January once we enact the GAA for 2020, ang salary upgrade nila is taken care of,” Lacson noted.