MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV has proposed a bill that seeks to increase the salary and provide more benefits to government doctors to stop the exodus of Filipino physicians overseas to seek high-paying jobs.
Trillanes, chairman of the Senate Committee on Civil Service and Government Reorganization, filed Senate Bill 319 that seeks to address the shortage of doctors which affects health services in the country.
The basic wage of doctors in provincial and municipal hospitals is about P26,878 a month or salary level grade 16 while doctors employed by the Department of Health (DOH) get P39,493 a month or salary grade 21.
“The present salary scale does not do justice to our hardworking doctors who have spent years in their studies and whose duties go beyond the normal eight-hour workload,” Trillanes said.
He said the minimum salary of state physicians should not be lower than salary grade 27 or P62,670.
Trillanes said the sad situation has prompted doctors to leave the country and seek employment abroad.
The World Health Organization (WHO) had tagged the Philippines as the second largest exporter of physicians next to India.
“Consequently, the exodus of doctors in the last five years is exacting a toll on the country’s already second-rate health service. The ratio of doctor vis-à-vis patients in the Philippines is one doctor per 28,493 patients, a far cry from the ideal 1 is to 1,000 ratio prescribed by the WHO,” Trillanes said.
Trillanes is also pushing for an annual loyalty pay equivalent to P50,000 to government doctors who have rendered at least three consecutive years of service in the country.
The bill also provides for transportation allowance ranging from P10,000 to P18,000 depending on the municipality; food allowance ranging from P5,000 to P12,000 and medical allowance ranging from P5,000 to P10,000 per month.
Trillanes also seeks to provide educational grants not exceeding P200,000 to government physicians who have rendered at least five years of continuous service.