House Bill 2926, filed by
While the intent of the proposed legislation is laudable, the solution of penalizing nurses for merely attempting to improve their living condition and that of their families is, at the very least, unfair and unconstitutional.
Nursing in the
Article XIII Section 3 of the 1987 Constitution provides for the State to afford full protection to labor, local and overseas, organized and unorganized, and promote full employment and equality of employment opportunities for all.
The legislations proposed by Dr. Tranquilino B. Carmona and Dr. Janette L. Garin negate the very essence of providing full and equal employment opportunities for all as it constraints nurses from seeking employment abroad sans the required mandatory service.
Moreover, the Bill of Rights guarantees every person's right to life, liberty, and property as well as equal protection of the laws. The practice of a profession falls under the meaning of property. The clause on the equal protection of the laws provide that no law shall be enacted that will benefit or affect a single class or group only. Restricting nurses to seek employment abroad while allowing other professionals like engineers, computer programmers, and sea men to freely seek employment overseas is class legislation and therefore, unconstitutional.
In closing, it is blatantly ironic and hypocritical of these two doctor-legislators to be picking on nurses who leave the Philippine health care system to work abroad when they themselves contributed to the health care decay when they left the medical profession and began their political careers as members of the House of Representatives.
Nursing Shortage in the Philippines: The Real Score