House Bill 5985, introduced by Laguna 4th District Representative Edgar San Luis, also proposes a penalty of imprisonment of not more than one year and a fine of not more than P100,000 to those found guilty of exploiting nurse trainees/volunteers.
The proposed legislation further mandates hospitals to pay nurse trainees monthly salaries for services already rendered. Any fees previously collected must also be refunded, in full, to the nurse with 6% annual interest.
In a statement published at the House of Representatives' website, Rep. Edgar San Luis said, "No matter how the hospital administrators call the pernicious practice—training, skills building, volunteer work or whatever—what they are doing is plain and simple exploitation."
Dr. Lea Paquiz, in her capacity as Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) President, revealed last year that several government and private hospitals have been exploiting nurses by not filling in vacant positions instead hiring unpaid nursing trainees/volunteers while charging them so-called training fees.
PNA Slams Hospitals for Requiring Nurses to Pay Training Fees