A BILL has been filed in the House of Representatives seeking to increase the minimum base monthly salary of nurses in public medical institutions to P63,997 from P36,619 to encourage more licensed practitioners to stay in the country.

Quezon City Rep. Marvin C. Rillo filed House Bill 5276, which proposes to amend the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002’s provision on pay level.

“Our measure will also encourage a greater number of high school graduates to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in college,” Mr. Rillo said. “Once (the bill is) enacted, we expect our measure to help slow down the rapid migration of Filipino nurses to English-speaking overseas labor markets.”

The Department of Health last month said that public and private hospitals need a total of 106,541 nurses to address vacancies.

Meanwhile, a bill that seeks to provide scholarships to medical students who want to work in law enforcement has also been filed.

House Bill 5129, or the Forensic Pathologists Scholarship Act, proposes a scholarships program for the practice of forensic pathology.

“Forensic pathologists are crucial if we want to be able to solve criminal cases quickly,” Ang Probinsyano Party-list Rep. Alfred C. Delos Santos said in a statement on Monday, noting that there are currently only two practitioners in the country.

The proposed measure also covers expenses for medical licensure review and specialization.

Under the bill, the Commission on Higher Education is tasked to establish the program and issue the corresponding implementing rules and regulations. — Kyanna Angela Bulan and Matthew Carl L. Montecillo