SC to conduct oral arguments on public nurses' salary

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ANG NARS Party-list filed a petition seeking to increase the salary of government nurses by enforcing a provision of Republic Act 9173 or the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 2) — The Supreme Court (SC) decided Friday it will conduct on February 26 oral arguments on the 2015 petition filed by ANG NARS Party-list over the salary of public nurses.

The party-list, led by former Rep. Leah Primitiva Samaco-Paquiz, filed a petition seeking to increase the salary of government nurses by enforcing a provision of Republic Act 9173 or the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002.

Section 32 of that law reads: "The minimum base pay of nurses working in the public health institutions shall not be lower than salary grade (SG) 15," as prescribed under Republic Act 6758 or the Compensation and Position Classification System for civilian and military personnel.

However, a Joint Resolution 4 filed in 2009 authorized the President to modify this system. In Executive Order (EO) 811 signed months after by then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the salary grade of a "Nurse I" was set at 11.

Civilian and military employees under SG 11 can earn as much as ₱22,055, while those under SG 15 can earn as much as ₱31,545.

The oral arguments will tackle if the joint resolution enabling the passage of the EO followed the procedure of a bill being passed into law.

The SC hearing will also tackle "if Joint Resolution No. 4 has repealed Section 32 of Republic Act No. 9173, whether the Supreme Court can compel the respondents to pay Salary Grade 15 as prescribed."