MANILA – Senator Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go said he will continue to prioritize the welfare of the nurses, particularly their “long overdue” salary increase.
Go, chair of the Senate committee on health, made this promise in front of the medical personnel of the new four-story Malasakit Building inside the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City on Saturday.
“Sang-ayon po ako sa pagpapataas ng sahod ng ating mga nurses kaya naman sinuportahan ko sa Senado ang panukalang magsusulong nito (I am in favor of the salary increase for our nurses and that’s why I’m supporting a bill in the Senate for this proposal),” Go told the nurses.
Go was referring to his efforts in the Senate to push for the implementation of the Supreme Court decision upholding the validity of Section 32 of the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002. It provides that the “minimum base pay of nurses working in the public health institutions shall not be lower than Salary Grade 15.”
“This is a long overdue compensation denied to them. Hindi na natin sila paghihintayin pa. Magkakaroon na sila ng increase sa kanilang sweldo (We should not let them wait any no longer. They will now have salary increase),” Go said in his previous statement.
“We allotted PHP3.173 billion to upgrade the salaries of Nurses 1 and 2, in accordance with the recent Supreme Court decision,” he added.
Go visited the Malasakit Center inside the SPMC as he also witnessed the turnover of assistance to replenish the fund of the center.
He also announced that a check was already turned over for the Pharmacy Fund which aims to provide free medicine to indigent patients not only in Davao City but throughout Mindanao.
Go, main author of the Malasakit Center Act of 2019, also explained that the Malasakit Center gives Filipino patients easier access to financial and medical assistances as it brought together in one office representatives from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
“Noong unang panahon po, hihingi kayo ng tulong sa apat na ahensiya ng gobyerno. Ubos ‘yung panahon ninyo sa kakapila para humingi ng tulong na, sa totoo lang, sa inyo naman ‘yan. Pera ninyo ‘yan (Before, you have to ask for help from four government agencies. So much time was spent queuing just to ask for financial assistance when in fact that money belongs to you),” Go said.
The Malasakit Center Act, which President Rodrigo Duterte signed in December, mandates the establishment of a Malasakit Center in each of the 73 DOH-run hospitals in the country and at the Philippine General Hospital.
So far, 71 Malasakit Centers have been opened throughout the country, with the latest one launched at the Lapu-Lapu City District Hospital on March 6.
Go reminded his audience to avoid illegal drugs, promising that he will continue to give back to the Filipino people the quality of government service they deserve. (PR)