Bayan Muna slams Aquino’s veto of nurses’ wage hike


MANILA — Bayan Muna partylist representative Carlos Isagani Zarate slammed President Aquino’s veto of the nurse’s wage hike, describing the move as “consistently anti-worker.”

Zarate said that the Aquino presidency is leaving behind a legacy of consistent and unrelenting callousness against the working people and poor. He added that the out-going president is as cruel as he is uncaring for the urgent demands and need of his people.

Nurses are supposed to be given at least P25, 000, or the equivalent the salary allotted for salary grade 15 as provided for by Republic Act 9173 or the Nursing Act of 2002. But even President Aquino’s  Executive Order No. 201 signed this year only provides P 20,754, or the amount being received by those in salary grade 11, which will only be received after four years, the solon said.

“May utang pa ang gobyerno sa ating mga nurse dahil hindi itinaas ang sahod nila sa kabila ng batas na ito,” Zarate pointed out.

In response to the veto, the progressive lawmaker said Bayan Muna will refile its House Bill 5540 or Comprehensive Nursing Law which will upgrade nurses’ monthly minimum salary to P25, 000 or the equivalent of salary grade 15, provide for better working conditions for nurses and the overall development of the profession. Zarate added that the crisis of our health system is worsened by the poor treatment of nurses and health workers.

“When we filed the bill in the last Congress, Bayan Muna recognized the unjust salary and working conditions our government nurses have, who, in the flight of many of our nurses abroad to find greener pastures, become more and more overburdened. This is happening despite the number of nurses graduating year after year in our country,” Zarate pointed out.

Bayan Muna hopes that the bill will fare better with the next administration, holding on for the support of incoming President Rodrigo Duterte.

The partylist urges their colleagues in the House of Representatives to advance the salary hike for nurses and health workers as an urgent response to the impairing health system crisis and pleas of health workers, especially those in public hospitals. #


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