With an average salary of P8,000 to P9,000 for an entry-level position, Filipino nurses continue to fight for higher compensation in the Philippines.
Angelique de Ocampo has been a nurse for ten years, but she once went abroad and even tried to work for an insurance company.
But because her heart was still in nursing, she returned to the profession and was forced to persevere in her meager wages.
De Ocampo’s salary was P16,000 at the last hospital she worked for, but she also experienced receiving P8,000 per month.
These are the complaints received by the Bayan Muna group, so in October 2019, they filed a proposal to push for the increase of the salary of private health workers to P30,000 per month.
“[Around] P8,000, P9,000 a month, that’s lower than minimum wage na dapat umabot sa P12,000 o P13,000 dito sa Metro Manila… Hindi ko nga rin maintindihan bakit hindi ito nasisita ng Department of Labor [and Employment] na below minimum wage ‘yung mga workers sa health sector,” said Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite.
(Around P8,000, P9,000 a month, that’s lower than the minimum wage that should reach P12,000 or P13,000 here in Metro Manila … I really don’t understand why the Department of Labor and Employment does not take action on below the minimum wage for workers in the health sector.)
Filipino nurses still fighting for salary increase
According to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello, abusive hospitals cannot be chased because nurses do not complain.
“If you have complaints against hospitals, then file a complaint formally,” he said.
Filipino Nurses United appealed to stop the victim-blaming because it is the government’s responsibility to monitor law enforcement.
Filipino nurses have also been calling for a long time to raise their salaries and improve their working conditions.
But because there was no response, many were forced to leave the country.
The government implemented a deployment ban on healthcare workers amid its fight against COVID-19. However, on September 21, President Rodrigo Duterte allowed all health workers with complete documents on August 31, 2020, to leave the country for work aboard.