While he noted that medical practitioners across the country ought to receive better salaries, President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday said that nurses should to join the police force where they would earn higher wages for their services.
"Those who want to work with government, lahat ng mga nurses na police, pumasok kayo sa police kasi malaki ang sweldo," he said in a televised address late Sunday evening.
"If you remain a nurse outside, you only get about 8, 9, 10 [thousand pesos] so it's time to give more to the people," he added.
Just last month, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) issued Budget Circular 2020-4, which upgrade the entry-level salaries of government nurses from Salary Grades 11 to 15.
Duterte's remarks came on the heels of a plea from healthcare workers that a temporary enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) be reimposed on Metro Manila to give health workers a time to recuperate from exhaustion due to the non-stop admission of COVID-19 patients.
While Duterte granted a less strict, modified ECQ (MECQ) for Metro Manila, he also unleashed a diatribe against the health workers who asked for it, saying they should have written him a letter instead of making a public statement. He also claimed they seemed to be threatening a revolution or work stoppage.
"All nurses sa uniformed sector will have to work, and we can always ask for volunteers. I am asking [Defense] Secretary Lorenzana to mobilize, call a mobilization of doctors and nurses and those who can help. Kung 'yan na lang ang maaasahan namin, or I might outright recall for all reservists to work. Yan na lang," he said.
The Philippines reported 5,032 new infections of COVID-19, bringing the total confirmed cases to 103,185. This includes 65,557 recoveries and 2,059 deaths. — DVM/BM, GMA News