MANILA - Government nurses may now avail of their much-needed pay hike, a senator said Sunday following the release of a memorandum circular on their wage increase.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson said some P3 billion was earmarked in the 2020 budget for the salary upgrade, citing a memorandum circular from the budget department.
The agency last Friday issued the memo upgrading the entry level salaries of government nurses to salary grade 15, or P32,053 to P34,801 per month, from salary grade 11, or P22,316 to P24,391.
As the funds are already available under the national budget's Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund, government nurses do not need to wait for the passage of legislation or the availability of funds to be provided by DBM, Lacson said.
"Definitely, no amount is enough to show our appreciation for the sacrifices and hard work of our nurses, especially those in the front lines," Lacson said.
"Still, this pay increase - which was sought even before the COVID pandemic hit - will be of help to them in one way or another,” he added.
"As all of us are now dealing with the 'new normal' due to the pandemic, the pay increase should hopefully make a difference for them."
Some nurses in virus epicenter Cebu City earlier said they are considering to quit, while a group of nurses in Manila have complained of work overload.
As of July 10, some 3,643 healthworkers have contracted the COVID-19, of whom 2,750 recovered and 34 died. Of the total infections, 1,293 are nurses.
The Philippines has so far reported 65,304 cases of COVID-19, with 22,067 recoveries and 1,773 deaths.