BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Good news to government nurses in Negros Occidental.
Malacañang has ordered the Department of Budget and Management to adjust the increase of the Salary Grade of Nurse 2 to SG16, and retain the position titles of Nurse 3 and 4, with corresponding salary grades.
This was the response of Malacanang, through Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, to the complaints of Negros Occidental provincial government nurses, that prompted House Minority Floor Leader, Rep. Joseph Stephen Paduano, to call for an inquiry, in aid of legislation, to check on the pay grade increases of nurses.
Paduano said he received several complaints and appeals from government nurses seeking clarification on what they claimed to be “demotion and diminution of positions” due to a DBM circular.
DBM Circular 2020-4 upgraded the salary grade of Nurse 1, from SG11 to SG15, but lowered the SGs of Nurses 2 to 7 one step, and a group of nurses in Negros Occidental described this as “very awkward” and appealed that the reclassification be held in abeyance.
The government nurses, in their letter to Paduano, argued that under the circular, a Nurse 2 will receive a salary similar to Nurse 1, who is on her staff, while a Nurse 7, who holds a chief nurse position, will revert to Nurse 6.
After undertaking a judicious consideration of the merits, positive and negative points, and the financial impact on both the Department of Health and the DBM positions, pursuant to RA 6758 and RA 11518, or Fiscal Year 2021 General Appropriation Act, and in recognition of the indispensable and essential role of public health nurses in ensuring a functioning health care system in the country, especially exemplified and highlighted during the current pandemic, Medialdea ordered the DBM to implement the adoption of an increase of the SG of Nurse 2 position to SG16 and the retention of position titles of Nurse 3 to Nurse 7, with their corresponding SGs. The DBM shall take the necessary action to implement this memorandum, subject to existing laws, rules and regulations, Medialdea said in a memorandum to Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado and Health Secretary Francisco Duque dated June 2.*