Unemployed Nurses to be deployed as Rural Midwives?
Cotabato Representative Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza said in a statement to media that congress should build up the Nurses Assigned in Rural Service (NARS) Project toward mobilizing a larger number of unemployed nurses, this time as village midwives.
Taliño-Mendoza is one of the backers of the proposed Reproductive Health, Responsible Parenthood, and Population Development Act.
According to the lawmaker, “It would make a lot of sense to expand the NARS, and possibly tap an additional 10,000 nurses for deployment as midwives in municipalities with the highest maternal and infant mortality rates”.
The bill seeks to raise public awareness of reproductive health, advance responsible parenthood, and improve access to safe and modern family planning methods in order to reduce unwanted pregnancies and lessen the risk of both maternal and infant mortality.
The Philippines has been producing around 100,000 nurses every year, but only some 12,000 of them are able to obtain gainful employment here and abroad.
From July 2008 to July 2009 alone, the Professional Regulation Commission issued licenses to 99,837 new registered nurses. With the release of the recently concluded NLE, the PRC is expected to issue another 32,617 licenses to June 2009 Nursing Board Exam passers.
The government has so far temporarily engaged 10,000 nurses under the NARS. The project allows nurses to serve in depressed municipalities for six months in exchange for a monthly allowance of P8,000.