Bello pushes for salary hike for nurses, medical workers in private hospitals

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 23) — Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III revealed that he will submit a proposal to the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to increase the salary of nurses and medical workers in private hospitals.

Bello said he will meet with members of the IATF on Thursday to discuss his recommendation.

The labor chief is looking at a possible increase of up to ₱26,000 for entry-level health workers.

“I am going to present to the IATF a bill that will propose the increase of our nurses and medical workers in the private sector to the level of the nurses and medical workers in the public sector,” he said in a media briefing on Wednesday.

Bello added that he has consulted Health Secretary Francisco Duque on this proposal.

The Filipino Nurses United (FNU) have been appealing to the government to increase the salary and benefits of nurses.

“At the very center of this battle against the virus stands our country’s unyielding nurses who care for the sick, bravely risking their own lives,” the FNU said in a statement.

“Too many of our courageous medical frontliners have already paid the ultimate price as they tried to save our countrymen during this pandemic," the group also said. "We, as a nation, are indebted and pledge our immeasurable gratitude for their heroic service.”

It added: "Nurses cannot even afford their own basic needs, much more of their families’ basic survival like food on the table, basic education for siblings and/or children, medical expenses of elderly parents and decent housing."