Nurses Celebrate the Reversal of the 2020 DBM Circular
The Malacañang reversed a circular made by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), which increased the salary rate for entry-level nurses but caused a demotion and freeze in a salary increase for many senior nurses in 2020.
DBM Circular No. 2020-4 increased the salary for entry-level nurses from salary grade (SG) 11 (₱22,000) to SG 15 (₱32,000) a month.
However, Section 8 of the circular did not correspondingly upgrade the salary grades of senior nurses and instead caused many salary freezes and demotions in the industry. Although there were no changes in their salary, their hard-earned ranks were greatly affected.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea released a memorandum reversing the implementation of the DBM circular.
Upon the reversal of the circular, associations of nurses celebrated as they expressed how the circular negatively affected their hard-earned positions in the medical field.
In October 2020, the Department of Health (DOH) issued Memorandum No. 2020-466 to suspend the implementation of the DBM circular for those ranked Nurse II and above.
However, the Filipino Nurses United (FNU) association claims that many hospitals ignored the order and demoted their nurses.
FNU President Maristela Abenojar stated, “Nurses were crying out of hurt, frustration, and desire for change. The circular has meant a loss of their hard-earned positions and ranks.”
Under Medialdea’s memorandum, the salary rates for Nurse II will be increased from SG 15 to SG 16 (₱36,000) while retaining the position titles of Nurse III to Nurse VII with their corresponding SGs.
Abenojar added, “[The reversal of the circular] proves that the united voice of nurses and the righteous assertion of their legitimate labor rights are critical in claiming back what is due for them.”
Nurses at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) expressed that “the reversal of the DBM circular should not only restore the status of the affected nurses. DBM should immediately give the almost one-year salary differential of those who held Nurse II positions before they were demoted.”