President Ferdinand R. Marcos on Thursday joined the call for the passage of the new Philippine Nurses Act to further advance the nursing profession.
Speaking at the Philippine Nursing Association’s (PNA) 100th anniversary, the President said no amount of monetary compensation or citation could equal the sacrifice, professionalism and dedication of Filipino nurses amid the lingering Covid-19 pandemic.
The Chief Executive assured he would back the passage of a new legislation to amend the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002.
“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,” Marcos said. “This Executive department, together with Congress, will work with you to achieve this goal,” he vowed.
Better working conditions
Marcos also said his administration plans to roll out additional programs, which will further boost the competencies of nurses through a Nursing Certification Program, Primary Care Workers’ Certification Program as well as leadership development courses for public health nurses.
The said measures, the President said, would augment the in-service post-graduate scholarship program and e-learning program, which provides free online continuing professional development already being enjoyed by nurses.
Marcos also vowed to address the uneven distribution of nurses in different areas around the country by improving their health facilities, benefits and security of tenure.
As for nurses who want to work abroad, the President said the government would increase the slots for their deployment.
Currently, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration has limited the deployment of some health-care workers, including nurses, to 7,500 this year to ensure the country will have sufficient manpower for its Covid-19 response.
The President noted the said initiatives are part of the government’s recognition of the valuable contribution of nurses in nation building, especially during the pandemic.
Marcos recalled he was among the hundreds of patients who received world-class health care from Filipino nurses after being afflicted with Covid-19 in 2020.
“Because of you and the sacrifices that you made knowing that there was 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,” Marcos said.
To show its support to health-care workers, including nurses, the government disbursed a total of P25.82 billion worth of benefits during the pandemic.
The PNA, which serves as the professional organization of Filipino nurses, currently has 40,000 members. It held its centennial celebration at the Manila Hotel Thursday.
Image credits: RTVM/Screen Capture