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PIA Press Release
2009/10/19

Orientation for 2nd batch of NARS Program set

by Noel B. Najarro

Butuan City (19 October) -- The Caraga Center for Health and Development announced that the orientation for the second batch of the Nurses Assigned in Rural Services (NARS) program is set on October 15.

This was announced by Dr. Ma. Wilma Joji Yu, Regional Project NARS Coordinator during a press conference held at the CHD conference room yesterday attended by the members of the local media.

Dr. Yu said that the first batch which had started on April 1, this year ended its deployment on the 30th of September and culminated last October 2. There were 331 successful graduates of the said program who were recognized.

NARS is an inter-agency program led by the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC). The latest government agency added on the list for the second batch is the Department of Education (DepEd). The project aims for the hiring and assignment of 5,000 new nurses for assignment to the 1,000 poorest regions or provinces in the country which had barely received any health services.

About seventy-one of these "poorest places" are here in Caraga region. There were 355 nurses supposed to be deployed in the region wide during the first batch. However, as dr. Yu explained that only 331 made it, as some had backed out after spending some periods with their assignment in some remote areas. Others had pending visa applications before their assignment and had opted to stop upon the approval of their visas.

Among the innovations of the said program for the second batch is that all the targeted areas will be covered this time. Before, Butuan City and Nasipit were not included with the deployment of nurses. They will be included in the program this time, she said.

Yu also explained the inclusion of the DepEd in the list of the lead agencies as schools will be among the institutions for deployment this period. Part of the assigned tasks of the nurses to deployed in schools will be to address the school's health program like food for the children, monitoring of malnutrition and also to monitor the possible resurgence of Influenza A (H1N1).

They are targeting to accept 365 nurses for this batch. The program will be open to the newly graduated nurses, below 35-years old with PRC License. The nurses will be receiving P8,000.00 incentive from the government. Additional incentives will be provided by the host LGUs. She clarified however, that the giving of incentives is voluntary on the part of the local government units. The program even awarded 25 LGUs during culmination rites of the first batch as they had contributed greatly to the success of the program.

The DOH is tasked for the training and monitoring of the nurses. They will be assigned for some few months to some hospitals before they will be fielded to their respective areas of service. They will be serving in their assigned areas for six months and it will be renewable should they wish to continue.

The program, DOH said is in line with the government's thrust in job generation for nurses and at the same time may further hone their skills for future employments. (PNN) [top]

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