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Proposed Legislations Seek Mandatory Service Period for Nurses






Two house bills seeking to require all filipino registered nurses to render a minimum of two years mandatory service in Philippine hospitals prior to seeking employment abroad have been filed by two separate lawmakers.

These lawmakers also happen to be medical doctors.

House Bill 2700, filed by Negros Occidental 1st district representative Tranquilino B. Carmona, seeks to implement a "clearance system" for registered nurses where an applicant seeking employment abroad will be required to secure a clearance from the Secretary of Labor and Employment. Such clearance may only be issued after proof of two years continuous or accumulated service rendered in local hospitals has been duly presented. Dr. Carmona justified the mandatory two-year holding period as way to safeguard the Philippine health care system which is said to be on the verge of collapse brought about by the unabated exodus of filipino registered nurses to first-world countries.

House Bill 2926, filed by Iloilo 1st district representative Janette L. Garin, requires registered nurses to serve in local hospitals for a minimum of three (3) years as requirement prior to seeking employment abroad. It also provides for a penalty of imprisonment of at least six (6) years and a fine of not less than Fifty thousand pesos (Php 50,000) for violators. In her explanatory note, Dr. Garin expressed alarm over the increasing number of nurses leaving the country which has tripled in number over the number of new nurses being registered by the Professional Regulation Commission annually.

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.

UNFAIR
Nursing in the Philippines is generally a thankless job. Nurses are subjected to constant stresses and are exposed to all sorts of diseases on a daily basis. All these endanger both their health and their primary source of income. The remuneration is comparable or near the minimum wage. Working conditions are inhumane especially in government hospitals. Nurses are overworked yet underpaid. To deprive them of an opportunity to improve their lot is utterly unfair.

UNCONSTITUTIONAL
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.


Related Article:

Nursing Shortage in the Philippines: The Real Score



9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why don't they implement already existing laws first like PHIL STATE GRADS rendering a 1 or 2 year service?

It is unfair, for example, what if a nurse hasn't worked as a nurse but when he or she would pass teh exam and would want to work, can he or she not leave?

If such will be the case, then after graduating from BSN, the grads will no longer take the Phil board exam, just apply for nclex-rn exams.

The problem with the country is not that we lack laws, but we don't implement the laws, they just make make and make, to the point that they make unjust and unfair laws.

These two congress members won't win the elections next time, that is guaranteed.

Imagine if the bills they passed would become a law...I would then renounce my phil licensure or just allow my license to expire without renewal...Being a phil rn would then suck...

everybody will then boycott local exams or we will have a massive giving up of phil nurse licenses...

I think these two envy nurses...Well, I invite you two to be nurses and help us, instead of being the devil's advocate...

bloodytom said...

they should prioritize increasing the salary of nurses

Joel-gensan said...

This law is unfair and inhuman as well. Why they should proposed this kind of law when in fact this is against our human rights? Do they not realized that they are affecting millions of filipino nurses aiming for a better life? Shame on them!!!

Anonymous said...

i think these 2 members of the congress are not using their heads.. instead they are just using their mouths... not all nurses are send by the government to schools.. we are not your scholars!!! implement that to the scholars ng bayan! you did not spend a single centavo for our tuition, etc, instead you the lawmakers allow every schools to increase their fees every school year! NLE is not even given for free! so what the hell are they talking about!

Anonymous said...

mga hyprocite ang mga members ng congress na yan! sila din naman nakikinabang sa ipinadadala ng mga nurses working abroad through their pork barrel! kung dba d hamak na mas malaki kinikita at ibinubulsa nila through their pork barrel fund e di sana doktor pa rin sila. sila nga iniwan nila profession nila para sa mas malaking kita!

eca said...

i've been here in u.s. for 6 years and very satisfied as an rn,bsn.i feel sorry 4 d nurses back in our country.i was there b4 and being a nurse is a noble proffession but to practice it in our country is a pity.kawawa talaga!i did realize that ng makapunta ako d2.grabe ang respect d2 as a human being..jan?kayod kalabaw ka na,wala ka pang sweldo..and dont worry mr. and miss politician, think about the money that we all nurses from abroad are sending over there?d impact of good quality life is not only in our family but also in our country's economy!mag-esep esep kayo!etseng lang yan...but anyway God bless those nurses who still working there,they deserve a quadruple or more increase salary!!!kodus.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this 2 politicians in this site. I hope they don't get voted next time.

Anonymous said...

With so many schools offering Nursing and so many Board takers (more than 40K), these so-called experts should realize that we will have an oversupply of nurses now that there is freeze-hiring in the UK. It's all about supply and demand and basic human rights.

Anonymous said...

Rich people who benefit and enjoy more in civilized society have to pay more for their continued greater benefit and enjoyment, by shouldering higher taxes--affordable to them--that help the government maintain the established order. In this context, the negative comments in media against the decision about two years ago of Dr. Elmer Jacinto, medical board topnotcher, to seek greener pastures abroad as a nurse were unfair. In effect, he was asked to render medical service to generally indigent Filipinos--a social responsibility to poor constituents borne by governments of other nations that can pay for it, but not by our government that cannot afford it. Therefore, what we have is a problem of LACK OF GOVERNMENT FUNDING, and those who faulted Dr. Jacinto wanted him to alleviate it by his lonesome self--WITHOUT ANY OF HIS CRITICS HAVING THE GOOD SENSE TO SIMILARLY CALL ON ANY OF THE SUPER RICH TO HELP BY SUBSIDIZING HIM THROUGH A MONTHLY ALLOWANCE SO HE WOULD STAY. But why pick on Dr. Jacinto without doing the same on those who can very well help through contributing money for medical services? What more proof that the rich in our society could have very well subsidized him than the P50 million contribution by Mr. Mark Jimenez to distressed educational plan holders? Even that is a drop in the bucket compared to what a super rich could have contributed, as proven to us by the P10.25 billion (equivalent to $200 million) donation to a foundation by Mr. John Gokongwei, Jr.!

The GOVERNMENT HAS RAISED early this year the VAT RATE from 10 percent to 12 percent even at the tremendous SACRIFICE OF THE POOREST OF THE POOR--yet it did NOT see fit to RAISE the top personal INCOME TAX RATE of even the RICHEST OF THE RICH, which higher tax rate would not have made a dent in their luxurious lifestyle to begin with! Yes, even if they pay extra millions in taxes--petty cash to them--local taipans can still enjoy their palatial homes, flashy cars, fabulous jewels, and other luxuries that many Filipinos cannot even dream of.

If we do not ask the very rich in our midst to make a bearable financial sacrifice for the sake of the nation to which they are morally INDEBTED, as it PATRONIZES THEIR PRODUCTS and provides them protection under its system of laws, why should we ask the poor Dr. Jacinto--and other POOR NURSES for that matter--to make a worse financial sacrifice when they are not even indebted to the people the way rich people are?


Excerpt from “Restriction of Nurses Going Abroad and Anti-Poor VAT on Medicines” by Marcelo L. Tecson, posted to Pinoy BSN.

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