FNU Supports the House Bill for a Responsive and Comprehensive Nursing Law

August 16, 2022

The Filipino Nurses United (FNU), a national labor association of public and private nurses taking the lead in the fight for nurses’ labor rights and welfare, lauds the proposed Nursing Bill “An Act Providing For A Comprehensive Nursing Law Towards Safe And Quality Health Care System, Repealing For This Purpose Republic Act  9173 Otherwise Known As The Philippine Nursing Act Of 2002, And Appropriating Funds Therefor”.

This Makabayan Coalition- sponsored bill has provisions which are more relevant to the Filipino people’s health needs and responsive to nurses.   FNU believes that the enactment of this comprehensive nursing law will truly guarantee the protection and dignity of the Filipino nurses in practicing their profession and in serving the people.  As the largest health workforce, our nurses deserve to be valued by ensuring that their basic human rights are respected and promoted in whatever field of nursing practice, both in public and private sectors.  

 This bill will address the current nursing crisis that nurses are experiencing which has resulted to droves of nurses’ migration to seek better pay and work opportunities outside the country or nursing profession. At this time of pandemic, the heavy toll on health workers and the frustrations on COVID benefits and compensation deepened the sentiments of non-recognition, burn-out and inhumane treatment on work conditions and pay.

Noteworthy in this House Bill is the proposed increase of nurse’s entry salary to P50,000 and adequate benefits with the proposal for the government to subsidize small and medium private hospitals for the first 3 years of implementation. Likewise, seeking to improve the work conditions such as reasonable workload through safe nurse patient ratio of 1:6 in general wards. With this standards and proper enforcement, the problem of understaffing in wards will be prevented, thus will improve patient care. In communities, the hiring of a public health nurse to be deployed in every barangay. Moreover, recognizing that nursing functions are vital and essential in the health care industry, it prohibits contractualization of the nurses, thus ensuring security of tenure and decent job with living wage.

The Continuing Professional Development (CPD), free and funded by the government will be prioritized to ensure continuous advancement of professional nursing career. CPD units will not be required for the renewal of Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) identification cards. All improvements and betterment of the nursing profession should be geared towards free, quality, comprehensive patient care and adequate, accessible service to our communities.

FNU believes that if this bill will be enacted soon, this can dramatically prevent the intensifying diaspora of nurses. Ultimately, public health care will be strengthened and improved.