An organization of nurses on Monday pressed for an increase in the deployment limit for healthcare workers eyeing employment abroad.
Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) president Melvin Miranda said the salary of nurses in the United States ranges from P120,000 to P250,000 a month, excluding benefits.
The salary offer for nurses starts at P300,000 in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada, he said.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), however,has said only 7,000 nurses are allowed for overseas employment this year.
“We are hoping that the existing cap will be increased. We are working with the government to gather data that will really balance the supply and demand in the country.” Miranda said in a broadcast interview.
“However, as long as we have not provided our nurses with the right salaries and compensation, they will continue seeking overseas employment,” he said.
Health workers in the country have earlier asked the government for a higher pay and the release of their COVID-19 response benefits and allowances.
Some of them have already opted to resign and look for another job, while many have left the country for employment abroad.
Even President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has acknowledged that the benefits accorded to nurses were not enough, considering their services and sacrifices to ensure the health of the public.
The Department of Health (DOH) said on Thursday the country needs 106,000 nurses both in public and private health facilities and hospitals.
Aside from nurses, the country also has a shortage of doctors, pharmacists, radiologic technologists, medical technologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, midwives, and dentists.
Miranda, however, argued that nurses will not have job security in the Philippines if they are offered only a year of contractual service, as compared to the big-time offers in other countries.
“Even though they will offer plantilla, so for the deployment program, for the one year contractual (the) status (of our) nurses, I think this could not have a job security for our nurses lalo na kapag nag-offer na ang mga karatig bansa ng mga ganitong mga [especially if our neighboring countries offer these] salaries and compensation,” he said.