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Higher pay up for doctors, nurses

Higher pay up for doctors, nurses

P43B a year to stem medical hemorrhage

By Gil C. Cabacungan Jr.
Last updated 04:35am (Mla time) 08/05/2006

MALACAÑANG is planning to spend an average of P43 billion a year in the next four years to boost the salary scale of government doctors, nurses and teachers in a bid to stem the exodus of these professionals to more lucrative jobs abroad.

Under the Department of Budget and Management’s proposed budget, the government is allocating an increase of P10.3 billion for personal services in 2007, P32.1 billion in 2008, P55 billion in 2009, and P74.9 billion in 2010.

Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya said these budget allocations showed that the government was not only bent on modernizing and expanding the country’s infrastructure like roads, bridges and sea and airports but also on improving its “bureaucratic infrastructure.’’

Andaya pointed out that the higher allocation was on top of the P13 billion that the President has approved to increase the salaries of over a million government workers by P1,000 each this year.

On Labor Day, President Macapagal-Arroyo had ordered the DBM and the Civil Service Commission to draft a bill that would not only complete the on-going salary standardization program of the government but also overhaul the compensation system that would raise the salary levels of key service personnel such as doctors, nurses and teachers.

“The aim of this program is to correct the distortions in the salary scale which is the reason why you have teachers, nurses and doctors going abroad. If you compare these people’s salaries in the private sector, it’s too small,” Andaya said. “Hopefully, this will stop the outflow of these people abroad.”

Andaya said the government’s goal was to give private-grade salaries to government doctors, nurses and teachers to at least narrow the gap and encourage them to continue serving in government. He noted that with the hard economic times, more Filipinos are depending on public hospitals and public schools for their basic needs.

Andaya said that other professional specialists like government geologists could also benefit from the huge increase in personal services budget in the next four years. “We used to have many mining experts in government employ but most of them are now gone due to better opportunities outside,” Andaya said.

Another goal of the increase in personal services was to provide performance-based incentives to government workers in order to improve their productivity.

Andaya said this would complement the government’s rationalization program which provides a golden parachute for bureaucrats qualified for the early retirement program.


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