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Healthcare workers, particularly nurses, have been battling for the right salary, compensation and benefits for several years. On September 22, 2017, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) finally issues an order which seeks to end exploitation of healthcare workers and to ensure the protection and welfare of health personnel specifically from the private sectors. DOLE issues department order 182-17 titled “Guidelines Governing the Employment and Working Conditions of Health Personnel in the Private Healthcare Industry” signed and approved by Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III.

Salient points of D.O.182, Series 2017:

  • False Volunteerism and False Trainings are prohibited
  • Wages shall not be below the amount prescribed by law
  • Work over 8 hours or more than 5 days a week are considered overtime
  • Extended endorsement & wait periods must be paid as overtime
  • No unauthorized deductions
  • 10% Night shift differential from 10pm-6am
  • 13th month pay
  • Right to Security of Tenure (regularization)
  • Right to Unionism & Collective Bargaining
  • Employers must provide Personal Protective Equipment & Occupational Health & Safety programs
  • Uninterrupted meal & rest periods must be provided
  • All healthcare facilities must have an adequate number of personnel (no understaffing)
  • All 12 regular holidays must be paid by employers
  • Social Welfare benefits: PAGIBIG, PhilHealth, SSS, etc
  • 30% premium pay for Special holidays
  • Paid service incentive leave
  • Maternity, paternity, and solo parents leave
  • Violence against women leave, Gynecological surgery leave
  • Separation pay for authorized causes
  • Retirement pay

Full context of the Department Order:

DO 182-17 Guidelines Governing the Employment and Working Conditions of Health Personnel in the Private Healthcare Industry

This order shall take effect 15 days after its publication in newspaper for general circulation. It is expected that private healthcare industry shall comply with the guidelines not later than 2nd week of October 2017.

Nonetheless, there have been republic acts and executive orders governing healthcare workers salary, compensation and benefits but it seems that there are failure in implementation. This department order will be useless if the government will be kept blinded of the situation of its citizen. While this order is specifically targeting the private industry, we are also looking forward for such guideline to be implemented for healthcare personnel in the government or public sector.

Source: DOLE