Nurses save lives and survive inhumane conditions
Filipino Nurses United pays tribute to all fellow nurses who bravely bring the best care they can provide for people wanting to recover and live, amid numerous challenges. For thousands of Filipino nurses, saving lives often means finding ways to survive inhumane conditions; they are overworked, underpaid, unappreciated and without security of tenure.The World Health Organization’s declaration of 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife coincides with our celebration of the many victories of Filipino nurses over the past years. These include:
1) The Supreme Court’s en banc decision affirming the need to implement Salary Grade 15 minimum wage for government nurses as mandated in the Philippine Nursing Law of 2002;
2) The approval by legislators of the 18th Congress to include budget allocation for Salary Grade 15 implementation for Nurse 1 and Nurse 2 positions, approved and signed by President Duterte as part of the 2020 General Appropriations Act;
3) The crafting and filing of House Bill No. 5184 or the Magna Carta of Private Health Workers, authored by the Bayan Muna party list;
4) The filing of HB 3477 (formerly HB 2548) to amend the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002 to include welfare provisions and HB 3478 (formerly HB 7196) for nurses’ entry salary of P30,000 for private and public sector nurses;
5) The successful lobbying to repeal the unjust Continuing Professional Development Act of 2016 which led to its on-hold mandatory implementation for renewal of Professional Regulation Commission identification card; and
6) The advancing campaign of nurses to end job contractualization and many more advocacies.
The continuing struggles of Filipino nurses for economic and political rights are efforts to improve our country’s health care—to ensure safe patient care which is a right of all Filipinos. FNU will stay the course for a safe nurse-to-patient ratio, humane work environments, and just salaries and benefits for all nurses, public and private, because our actions as patient advocates are the heart and soul of our profession. Nurses are the people’s steadfast ally in their quest for quality health care.
MARISTELA P. ABENOJAR, RN, MAN,
Filipino Nurses United,