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PIA Press Release

Commentary: Newly-launched NARS program, a training ground for nurses seeking overseas employment

By Miriam P. Aquino

San Fernando City, La Union (13 February) -- Finding more ways to soften the impact of the global financial crisis to Filipinos, the government recently launched another program called Nurses Assigned in Rural Areas (NARS) which is deemed beneficial to all nursing graduates who would want to seek employment abroad but have low service demand due to lack of training.

In a speech delivered by President Arroyo during the multi-sectoral jobs summit held in Malacaņang recently, she said that this program aims to provide local employment as well as to sustain the demand for overseas workers abroad, particularly the Filipino nurses.

Thru the NARS program, nurses will be able to have the necessary training which is a primary requirement for overseas employment and at the same time provide them local employment as they will be deployed in rural areas to render service following the three I's as mandated by the government which means: 1.) Initiate primary health, school nutrition, maternal health programs, first-line diagnosis; 2.) Inform about community water sanitation practices and do health surveillance; 3.) Immunize children and mothers. Also part of their service is to serve as roving nurses for rural schools.

About 5,000 nurses are expected to benefit from the program which was provided an allocation amounting to P500 million. A ratio of five nurses for each of the 1,000 poorest municipalities in the country will be assigned, with each nurse to be paid an allowance of P8,000.00 per month.

The chief executive urges the League of Municipalities in the Philippines thru its President, Binalonan, Pangasinan Mayor Ramon Guico to ask each host local government units (LGUs) to provide counterpart funds amounting to P2,000.00 as additional allowance for nurses.

Even the private sector was asked to give their share like shirts from manufacturers, vitamins from pharmaceuticals, insurance and cellphones to make this program a national enterprise with private equity. (PIA La Union) [top]

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