- President Aquino vetoed P25K salary for nurses
- Spokesman said Aquino vetoed the bill because of “dire financial consequences”
- He added the bill would be unfair to other health professionals, increase healthcare costs
MANILA, Philippines – There will be no salary increase for nurses under the present administration.
In a statement coursed through Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., President Benigno Aquino III announced his veto of the proposed bill seeking to raise the salaries of nurses to almost P25,000.
According to Aquino, the consolidated bill—“An Act Providing for a Comprehensive Nursing Law Towards Quality Health Care System, and Appropriating Funds Therefore”—would have “dire financial consequences” if passed into law.
“While we recognize the objective of the bill to promote the well-being of the country’s nurses, we cannot support the bill in its present form because of its dire financial consequences,” GMA News quoted him as saying.
Aquino explained that granting the salary increase would be unfair to other health professionals since it would create a wage distortion.
“To grant the proposed increase will not only undermine the existing salary structure of medical and health care practitioners, but will also cause wage distortion not only among health professionals but also among other professionals in government,” he said. “Such preferential treatment in favor of nurses over and above other health professionals and professionals in the government service appears unconscionable and violative of the equal protection clause enshrined in the Philippine Constitution.”
Aquino added that the increase would also adversely affect hospitals, resulting in increased healthcare costs and downsizing of personnel.
The president’s message has since been relayed to both Senate President Franklin Drilon and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. Under the legislative process, the bill may still be passed over a presidential veto with a two-thirds vote of Congress.