[ONLINE POSTER: Dakis Vs Villar]

MANILA, APRIL 8, 2013 (NIGHTINGALE CHRONICLE) - Saw this poster entitled: Dakis Vs Villar The online outrage of Filipino nurses resulted an issuance of an apology by senatorial candidate Cynthia Villar.

In an online post, two hours ago, she said: ‎"I have only the deepest respect and admiration for Filipino nurses. Kung nakasakit ako ng damdamin ninyo, humihingi po ako ng dispensa. Nagkulang kasi ng oras sa aking pagsagot sa medyo komplikadong tanong. Sa lahat ng mga nursing students at mga nurses natin, iginagalang ko kayo at ang nais ko lang ay hindi maipit ang pag-aaral ng mga nursing students dahil sa hindi pagkakaunawaan ng mga may-ari ng eskwelahan at mga pinuno ng CHED noong mga panahon na yon."

I easily forgive Mrs. Villar but sadly I do not easily forget.

Lack of time in answering a question should not be used as an excuse for ignorance. The use of the line "gusto LANG nila maging room nurse lang sa Amerika" will not merit you any lack of time. It will not hamper you in addressing the nursing profession in propriety (or any profession for that matter). This is just plainly ignorance and a show of stereotyping.

Should you really wanted to mediate the issue between CHED and the owners of the nursing schools, CHED Chair and members of the TCNE would have not resigned. But they did, and so the mediation failed. There are still a lot of low-performing nursing schools operational up to this day.

I accept your apology Mrs. Villar for people do make mistakes especially under pressure and in national TV. I make these mistakes too and I know the pressure of national TV. I suggest you go back to the WAR ROOM and prepare. Running for senate would not be as similar to running your foundation where you are the boss - in the Senate, we are your bosses. And many Filipinos will not allow this kind of mediocrity in the senate floor. We had enough circus going on already. And the enlightened Filipinos will vote for those who really represent the people and those who serve and think beyond their own.

To fellow nurses, let us, in an act of humility, accept Mrs. Villar's apology. Although, as they say "the damage has been done" but let us also be reminded how each of us makes mistakes. Well for professionals like us, creating a mistake would mean losing the lives of our patients, and losing our own licenses to practice the profession and possibly ending in jails. With this, I hope Mrs. Villar would also see this perspective, that as a public persona, whatever she say affects the people - and that a mistake takes toll to ordinary Filipinos - not a physical death but the death of critical thinking and basic respect to others.

P.S. Mrs. Villar, the challenge is still up for the taking! Will you accept the challenge and be a "room nurse" for a day in a public hospital with us?

Also if nurses campaign against you or strike you out of their Magic 12, we cannot blame them. We cannot blame the meager 700,000 voters and potential supporters to choose other candidates. We cannot also blame the parents, siblings and family members of this meager 700,000 registered nurses in the country. We just can't. Posted by Alvin Cloyd Dakis, RN at 11:36 AM


Cynthia Villar sorry for remark vs PH nurses by David Dizon, ABS-CBNnews.com Posted at 03/04/2013 5:54 PM | Updated as of 03/04/2013 5:57 PM


MANILA - Team PNoy senatorial candidate Cynthia Villar on Monday apologized to the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) for her recent remarks in a forum that earned the ire of nurses.

In her letter addressed to the PNA Governing Board, its officers and staff, Villar wrote: "I truly am sorry for having offended the feelings of your members. It was never my intention to belittle anyone, least of all, the valiant members of the nursing profession."

The controversy arose when noted economist and broadcaster Winnie Monsod asked former congresswoman Villar about her alleged intervention in favor of nursing school owners that resulted in the non-closure of substandard nursing schools way back in 2005.

She told Monsod then that nurses did not need to finish their degree since they only wanted to become room nurses or caretakers.

“Yung sinasabi po namin sa kanila na actually hindi naman kailangan ang nurse ay matapos ng BSN [BS Nursing], kasi itong ating mga nurses ay gusto lang nila maging room nurse, o sa Amerika o sa other countries, ay mag-aalaga lang sila. Hindi naman kailangan na ganoon sila kagaling,” she had said.

Villar’s comment was immediately criticized in social networking sites over the weekend.

Villar said the 1-minute time limit and the complexity of the issue concerning the closure order from Commission on Higher Education (CHED) several years ago prevented her from answering Monsod’s question in a clear and concise manner.

"What I was trying to say during that media forum was that nursing students affected by a CHED closure order several years ago deserved concrete and better career and academic options other than just an abrupt closure of the institutions that they were currently enrolled in," she said.

She also appealed to Filipino nurses and nursing students not to judge her based on a comment made under extreme time pressure.

"Mahirap po talagang pagkasyahin sa loob ng isang minuto at kalahati ang lahat ng gusto kong sabihin tungkol sa mga naging problema ng mga mag-aaral ng nursing noon at hanggang ngayon. Napakalaki ng aking paghanga sa mga nars, saan man sila naglilingkod kaya't nalulungkot ako dahil nagkulang ang aking pagpapaliwanag."

Villar was part of a legislative oversight committee that asked CHED not to close the nursing schools just for lack of tertiary hospitals where the nurses could train.

The senatorial bet said the panel asked CHED to defer the closure since the nurses could study until their third year before they needed to work in a tertiary hospital to gain experience.

Villar noted that as early as May 2012, she was already advocating for a ladderized system of curriculum that would give academic credits and the appropriate skills certificates for nursing students who, due to financial constraints, were unable to complete their nursing degree and pass the board examinations.

She said her own husband, Sen. Manny Villar, authored a law for better wages for government nurses in 2002.

"During the First Davao del Sur Congress of the Philippine Nurses Association- Davao del Sur Chapter in November of last year, I spoke in favor of the immediate implementation of Republic Act No. 9173 also known as the Nursing Act of 2002 that increases the minimum salary of government nurses to around P24,000 or Salary Grade 15 instead of the present P18,000 equivalent to only Salary Grade 11."

"That this law passed way back in 2002 remains unimplemented speaks volumes about the sad plight of your sector. No wonder so many Filipino nurses are compelled to leave the country for economic reasons," Villar said in her letter to the PNA.

Villar said that the controversy arising from her remarks made her even more zealous about promoting the rights and welfare of Filipino nurses.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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