Recognizing the pivotal role of nurses in healthcare and in a move to elevate the nursing profession in the country, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go continues to advocate for measures that will ensure the welfare of healthcare workers and improve their working conditions.
In an ambush interview after his visit to Naga City, Camarines Sur on Saturday, June 3, Go stressed that healthcare workers deserve fair remuneration that reflects their invaluable service. He likewise pushed for the provision of benefits and incentives to help nurses and encourage them to remain in the country.
“Alam n’yo, nu’ng nakaraang 18th Congress, isa po ako sa author at co-sponsor po ng Salary Standardization 5. At nagkaroon tayo ng SSL 5 kung saan po itinaas ang sweldo ng lahat ng government workers. At hopefully po magkaroon pa sana ng SSL 6 para po matulungan pa ang ating mga government workers na tumaas pa ang sweldo, including na po itong mga (public) healthcare workers natin,” cited Go.
Go authored and co-sponsored RA 11466, or the SSL5 in 2019 to give nurses and other civilian government employees their fifth round of salary increases broken down in tranches.
In the same year, he also ensured that enough funding was allotted for the implementation of the 2019 Supreme Court decision that upheld Section 32 of the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002, which sets the minimum salary grade of the Nurse I position at SG-15.
In addition, the senator continues to push for the advancement of nursing education through his proposed Advanced Nursing Education bill.
Go noted that the nursing education in the country has long been acknowledged as a strong foundation for producing competent and compassionate healthcare professionals. However, with the rapidly changing healthcare landscape, it has become crucial to update the curriculum and training methods to meet the demands of modern healthcare practices while encouraging nurses to serve their communities and stay in the country.
The proposed “Advanced Nursing Education Act of 2022” seeks to protect and improve the nursing profession by instituting measures that will result in relevant nursing education for better career prospects and a dignified existence for our nurses.
“Dapat po ay bigyan natin sila ng tamang kompensasyon para hindi na sila umalis na po, mangibang bansa dahil naintindihan ko naman na kailangan nilang magtrabaho sa ibang bansa dahil napakalaki talaga ng sweldo, ng diperensya ng sweldo dito sa ating bansa kumpara po sa ibang bansa. So, the more na dapat nating tulungan ang ating mga nurses,” Go emphasized.
“At mayroon din po akong nai-file sa Senado itong Advance Nursing Education Bill para po sa karagdagang curriculum upang mahikayat natin silang magtrabaho dito sa ating bansa, sa Pilipinas. Maisama po ang iba pang curriculum, ‘yung community integration at immersion po, karagdagang kaalaman din iyon,” he explained.
Go’s proposed measure will require the establishment of standard basic and graduate programs for nursing education, to be established in Commission on Higher Education (CHED)-accredited institutions of higher learning.
Under the basic program, students will be mandated to undergo community integration and immersion to encourage them to work in various communities.
Meanwhile, a graduate program will be built on the experiences and skills of the nurses towards mastery, expertise and leadership in practice, research and education.