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PIA Press Release

Gov't to hire nurses for poor towns

by Rachelle M. Nessia

Manila (12 February) -- The national government is set to launch a program that will hire around 5,000 Filipino nurses for deployment to poorest municipalities across the country.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has announced that the government will launch the Nurses Assigned in Rural Areas (NARS), a P500-million program that promises to help nurses in the country land local short-term jobs as part of their preparation for employment abroad.

Under the program, five nurses for each municipality will be deployed to some 1,000 poorest municipalities nationwide.

The nurses hired under NARS will be paid a monthly allowance of P8,000, said Pres. Arroyo in her speech during the multi-sectoral jobs summit dubbed, "Joining Hands Against the Global Crisis."

"If they are paid an allowance of P8,000 a month, and you have two six-month tours of duties of nurses, five nurses for each of the 1,000 poorest municipalities, that will cost less than half a billion pesos," the President said.

Calling them "warriors of wellness," the President said the nurses to be hired are expected to undertake in their hometowns the three I's:

  1. Initiate primary health, school nutrition, maternal health programs, first-line diagnosis etc.;
  2. Inform, inform about community water sanitation practices and do health surveillance; and third,
  3. Immunize, immunize children and mothers.

The president has called on Binalonan, Pangasinan Mayor Ramon Guico, president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP), to make LGUs come up with a counterpart fund of at least P2,000.

She also asked corporation to chip in their share as well. "Shirts can come from manufacturers, insurance, vitamins from pharmaceuticals, cellphones that will make the program truly a national enterprise with private equity," the President said. (PIA/rmn) [top]

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