A PROPOSAL for better pay and benefits to all healthcare workers in the private sector was set for submission to Malacañang Monday, according to Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III.  

The recommendations are intended to make private sector rates “similar to that of healthcare workers in the public sector,” he said in a news briefing Monday afternoon.    

Around 200,000 nurses, doctors, medical technologists, and other workers in private medical facilities are expected to benefit from the proposal.   

“Private hospitals can shoulder these additional funds as they are generating income especially now during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic,” he said in Filipino.    

The proposal was jointly drafted by of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE), Health, and Trade and Industry, Mr. Bello said.  

He added that the proposal is also intended to urge the government, upon recommendation of the national task force handling the coronavirus response, to certify as priority a measure to increase the minimum wage of nurses in private hospitals. 

The legislative measures are contained in House Bill 7569 and Senate Bill 1837.  

Mr. Bello further said that DoLE, along with the Philippine Nurses Association, Department of Health, and the Professional Regulation Commission, are still assessing calls to increase the deployment cap on nurses “to make sure that our country is not deprived of nurses.”   

He said the Philippines has already reached its current limit of 6,500 nurses allowed to be deployed to other countries. The cap does not include deployments to the United Kingdom and Germany due to government-to-government agreements with the two countries. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago