It is unSolicitor General Jose Calida said during the oral arguments Tuesday that this piece of social legislation created conflicting SGs, And cause a great deal of disparity and inequity in the "whole government structure, Position classification, And compensation system. "
He warned assigning SG 15 for nurse one position would lead to inequity and wage distortion in medical and allied positions. A nurse one would be compensated more than a government doctor with SG 14, And would earn more than a pharmacist, Midwife, Medical technologist and a dentist.
"The government recognizes the ever-critical role of nurses in providing quality and accessible health care to the public. However, The legislative intent to allow the executive branch to modify the framework for the compensation of civil servants in order to reduce salary inequities between government positions is clear and unequivocal, " Calida said during the arguments.
Section 32 of the act reads: "The minimum base pay of nurses working in the public health institutions shall not be lower than salary grade (SG) 15, " as prescribed under Republic Act 6758 or the Compensation and Position Classification System for civilian and uniformed personnel.
However, A Joint Resolution 4 filed in 2009 authorized the President to modify such system. In Executive Order (EO) 811 signed months after by then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, The salary grade of a "Nurse I" was set at 11.
Civilian and military employees under SG 11 can earn as much as ₱22, 055, While those under SG 15 can earn as much as ₱31, 545.
Petitioners argued the non-implementation of the Nursing Act of 2002 -- mandating the minimum salary for nurses -- has contributed to the continued exodus of nurses abroad.
"'Yung minimum wage po na salary ay napakaliit po para sa kanila sa laki ng responsibilidad sa laki ng kanilang trabaho. Minsan nakaparami nang pasyente subalit iilan lang 'yung mga nurse ang nagtatrabaho sa mga ospital dahil po nag-aalisan sila at naghahanap ng better opportunity sa abroad, " Willy Pulia, President of the Alliance of Filipino Workers said.
[Translation: The minimum wage is too small for the responsibility and for the gravity of their work. Sometimes there are too many patients but only a few nurses work in the Philippine hospitals because they seek for better opportunities abroad. ]
The Supreme Court gave the parties 30 days to submit their memoranda before the case is submitted for decision.
Fair to other workers if the salary for nurses increase, Cause they are the same in a condition w