PBBM commits to improve work conditions of Filipino nurses

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MANILA – President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. stated on Thursday that his administration is committed to improving the profile and working conditions of nurses both domestically and abroad.

He made this promise during a speech at the 100th anniversary celebration of the Philippine Nurses Association, Inc. at The Manila Hotel.

“As part of our goal to raise the profile and improve the working condition of nurses, we seek to address the disparity in salaries between government hospitals with those in the private sector,” he said.

“Also, we must address the uneven distribution of nurses in different areas around the country. In order to do that, we have to address issues related to health facilities, benefits, and security of tenure,” he added.

Marcos recognized that the current salaries of nurses in the Philippines need to be increased, but he remarked that the government may not yet have the funds to do so.

Medyo hirap tayo sa pondo ngayon, kaya’t sa ngayon ganyan lang muna. Pero palagay ko…binibuhay nyo ang may sakit e, ibang usapan yan. Mahirap lagyan ng balor, ng dolyar, ng piso yung trabahong ginagawa ninyo (We are still short of funds now, that’s why that will have to do for now. But I think…because you are caring for the sick, that’s a different story. It is difficult to put a price tag on the job you do),” he said.

He stated that his office is “always open” to discuss issues pertaining to nurses and allied health professionals.

Marcos also vowed to open more slots to the deployment of nurses abroad while striving to improve domestic opportunities.

Marcos supported the passage of House Bill 9389, also known as the “New Philippine Nursing Practice Act,” which was recently approved on final reading by the House of Representatives and will be sent to the Senate for consideration.

“I have taken special note of the clamor to address issues in the nursing profession by the passage of the New Philippine Nursing Practice Act. This Executive Department together with Congress will work with you to achieve these goals,” he said.

Marcos stated that as of August 19 the government has disbursed a total of PHP25.82 billion worth of benefits to healthcare workers, especially nurses.

These consist of hazard duty pay, Covid-19 sickness and death compensation, meal, accommodation, and transportation allowances, life insurance, special risk allowance, and the One Covid-19 allowance.

Programs for nurses

According to Marcos, the government will also continue to pursue programs that support the continuous development of Filipino nurses such as the Nursing Certification program which strengthens and certifies our nurses’ competencies in various specialty areas.

The Primary Care Workers Certification program, which provides eligibility requirements, standard competencies, training mechanisms, and certification processes that ensure competent and quality staffing for our healthcare system, will also be offered, he said .

Marcos stated that they will also support the Leadership Development Courses for Public Health Nurses, which intends to equip nurses with the skills necessary to provide high-quality health care and to become competent leaders and managers.

The In-Service Post-Graduate Scholarship Program, which will enhance nurses’ competencies through formal education, and the E-learning program, which provides access to free, continuing professional development, and accredited courses in many many disciplines of study, will also continue to be provided.

Compassion and kindness of Filipino nurses

Marcos, meanwhile, lauded and expressed gratitude for the sacrifices and contributions of all Filipino nurses.

Speaking from personal experience after contracting Covid-19 twice, Marcos described how Filipino nurses risked their lives to care for the sick, even refusing to return home to avoid infecting their families.

“During my fight against Covid-19, I benefited from the able and healing hands of competent Filipino nurses. because of you, and this I cannot stress more, because of you and the sacrifices that you made knowing that there is a risk involved, but because of that sacrifice, because of that compassion, because of that professionalism our nation has survived the most difficult moments of this pandemic,” he said.

He stated that Filipino nurses stood out not only for their competence and dedication, but also for their “compassion and kindness”.

“Marami namang magaling diyan ngunit kahit yung mga foreigner hinahanap nila, mas gusto nila na ang nag-aalaga sa kanila mga Pilipino na nurse. At hindi naman kataka-taka dahil kapag alagaan ka ng Pilipino na nurse gagaling ka talaga (There are so many excellent nurses, but even foreigners prefer being taken care of by Filipino nurses. And there is no surprise there because if a Filipino nurse takes care of you, you will surely recover,” he said.

He also stated that attending the PNA’s 100th anniversary was a pleasure because his father, late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., also attended the golden anniversary of the association.

The association was founded in 1922 to promote professional development toward the attainment of the highest nursing standards.

The 65th Nurses’ Week Celebration and its National Annual Convention 2022 coincide with the anniversary celebration.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.