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President Benigno “Pnoy” Aquino III disapproves the Comprehensive Nursing Bill. In a statement Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the President has rejected the enrolled consolidated House Bill No. 6411 and Senate Bill No. 2720 entitled “An Act Providing for a Comprehensive Nursing Law Towards Quality Health Care System, and Appropriating Funds Therefor.” Nurses in social media went into a rage after this news that Pnoy vetoed the comprehensive nursing bill.

As stated in the official response of President Aquino, one of the reason why the bill was rejected is that the minimum base pay for entry-level nurses has already been increased through Executive Order No. 201, series of 2016, which raised their total guaranteed annual compensation from P228,924.00 to P344,074.00.  In this bill, nurses are not actually asking for higher salary instead nurses are just asking for the implementation of right salary of Filipino nurses.

The Comprehensive Nursing Bill is not only after the salary of nurses but also delegating the Department of Health to take in charge in providing special training and certifications for nurses and the development of Advanced Practice Nursing in the Philippines. The bill also mandates the government to assign nurses for every barangay, school and workplace. It will also give free hospitalization, trainings and scholarship grants for nurses.

Meanwhile, Senator Gordon expresses his opinion regarding the rejection of President Aquino with this bill. “I find it sad the government has not given the plight of our nurses priority, given their sacrifices and importance to society. The families of our nurses, some of whom sold their carabaos to send their children to nursing school, should have been enjoying the benefits of the law these past 13 years. Nursing is not just a profession, it’s a calling to public service under the most hazardous conditions. We should give them their due under the law, and we will see to this when the DOH budget for 2017 passes through the Senate,” he said.