I have thought about writing this for a while now but I was a little hesitant at first. However, since I am not associated with any hospitals at the moment, I think it is safe for me to discuss it now. Maybe some people are curious about the pay of Filipino nurses in the Philippines. It could also be a way for me to express my frustrations.
So, here it goes.
According to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Filipino nurses’ monthly salary ranges from 8,000- 13,500 PHP. The precise amount depends on many factors such as the sector to which the hospital belongs, either government or private. Those working in government hospitals earn much more but it also means more workload and stress. For example, while the usual ratio in private hospitals is 1 nurse: 10-20 patients, government hospitals would have 1 nurse: 20-40 patients. There is also feedback I heard that the salary is sometimes delayed.
Another factor is the years of nursing experience. Understandably, those who have worked more have higher pay than those with no experience. For instance, a previous coworker of mine who had worked in the UAE for 3 years has a higher basic pay than a nurse who has worked for the first time.
How much I was paid.
When I began my nursing career at a private hospital in the Philippines, my basic monthly salary was 13,500 PHP. Extra pay is added from overtime and hazard pay. However, with deductions, such as Phil Health, SSS, and Pag-ibig Contributions, and other loans, my earning could get around 5,000- 7,000 PHP per 15 days. Ha!
Highest Paid Nurses
Considering, however, that the minimum wage in the Philippines is around 300 PHP, nurses are still earning at least twice that amount per day. In reality, though, nurses in the Philippines are paid the lowest compared to other nurses around the world. Some of the highest-paid nurses are in the cities in California and around the US (annual salary ranges from $50,000- $136,610), Australia- $56,00, Canada- $51,000, and Europe ($50,000-$90,000).
Salary day is just like any other day for me. Nothing to be excited about, unfortunately. I was not looking forward to the fact that after deducting all my bills and investments from a 5,000 PHP- 7,000 PHP pay, most likely the balance is 0. And that is me being single, living on my own, without kids or family to think about.
I often wonder about those married nurses and with kids. How are they able to survive with that money, I have no clue. It must be very challenging as I find it very hard for myself too. Most of them say they just got used to it. That is sad though.
High-Risk Job; Low Pay
So what went wrong in the Philippines? Is it because we are a developing country? I have no idea. Nonetheless, nurses in the Philippines, I believe, are not treated fairly. We do a high-risk job but the pay is low.
It is very frustrating to think about. No wonder, almost all nurses in the country are doing the best they can to leave the Philippines and work in other countries. To serve people from other nations. At least the pay is high with a better working environment.
I hope that with this pandemic still happening, the country would finally realize the importance of health care workers, especially nurses. It is tough to be a nurse nowadays, the physical stress and exhaustion emotionally and mentally. But many remain to work and serve despite all the hardships and challenges.
To all nurses and front liners, you are our heroes!
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