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Raise dentists’ pay and keep them in the government workforce, says Solon

To maintain their services and simultaneously recruit more dentists to work for the government, the pay grade of the approximately 2,000 dentists operating in the public sector must be raised.

Sen. Francis Escudero has introduced Senate Bill (SB) No. 2082, also known as the Public Dentist Salary Modification Act, which will raise the entry-level Salary Grade (SG) 13 from PHP31,320 to SG 17, or PHP43,030.

Escudero stated in a news release on Friday that one of the main reasons the government cannot hire dentists is the wage gap between private and public dentists.

Private dentistry practices may generate more money than the government can without having to comply with the tight rules and regulations that apply to jobs in the civil service, according to Escudero.

Additionally, he hopes this intervention will encourage more students to pursue dental education and more qualified dentists to work for the government.

According to data from the National Database of Selected Human Resources for Health, as of December 2022, 1,943 dentists were working in the public sector or one dentist to serve the needs of around 57,423 Filipinos regarding oral health.

Escudero’s proposal aims to change the pay grade for dentists working for all branches of the government, including the federal and state governments, government-owned and -controlled businesses, state universities and colleges, and municipal government entities.

SG 20 for Dentist II (PHP57,347), SG 23 for Dentist III (PHP71,511), SG 25 for Dentist IV (PHP102,690), SG 27 for Dentist V (PHP131,124), SG 29 for Dentist VI (PHP167,432), and SG 30 for Dentist VII (PHP189,199) all need to be modified as well.

Escudero and Senator Sonny Angara co-authored SB 324 last year, which attempted to raise the starting salary (SG) level for public school teachers from SG 11 (PHP27,000) to SG 19 (PHP51,357).

The committees on Civil Service, Government Reorganization and Professional Regulation, Basic Education, and Finance are debating the measure.

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