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Friday, August 21, 2009

Training cum employment program for nurses gains more support

Support for the Nurses Assigned in Rural Service (NARS) program, which has
already deployed more than 5,000 unemployed registered nurses nationwide,
continues to "snowball" with a healthcare foundation committing to sponsor
the deployment of an additional 100 nurses to another 20 needy

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said that the GlaxoSmithKline
Foundation (Phils.), Inc. entered into an accord with the DOLE and the
Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), on Thursday (August 20, 2009) to
provide for its sponsorship of 100 unemployed registered nurses who would be
deployed to 20 poor municipalities under Project NARS.

Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque said that the latest
support follows the earlier commitment to the Project NARS forged by the
PHAP Cares Foundation, Inc. which assured the deployment of a similar number
of nurses in an accord inked on May 21, 2009.

Amidst the development, the PhilHealth has positively expressed support
towards the deployment of another 220 unemployed registered nurses to more
poor municipalities under the NARS program.

Significantly, the growing support to the program both from the private
pharmaceutical and healthcare industry, as well as the government sector, is
expected to increase the number of poor municipalities targeted under
Project NARS from the original 1,000 nationwide.

A number of local government units (LGUs) have also provided additional
support such as transportation allowance ranging from P500 to P2,000 per
month, free board and accommodation, and free food when on duty.

The GlaxoSmithKline Foundation (GSKF) is a non-stock, non-profit
organization whose mission extends the company's medical and research
commitment to community service and corporate social responsibility.

Roque said that GSKF president Roberto C. Taboada, together with PHAP
president Oscar J. Aragon, signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), which
affirmed the foundation's support and commitment to the Project NARS. Roque
and PRC Chairman Nicolas P. Lapeña, Jr., also signed the MOA.

Subsequently, the document was presented to President Gloria Macapagal
Arroyo in Malacañang Palace.

The President had earlier launched Project NARS during the successful
Multi-Sectoral Summit on "Joining Hands Against the Global Crisis" in
Malacañang Palace on February 9 this year.

The latest MOA underscored the importance of the Project NARS in mobilizing
unemployed registered nurses to the poorest municipalities in the country in
response to the global crisis. The Project aims to mobilize nurses as
"warriors for wellness" in poor municipalities to initiate primary health,
school nutrition, maternal health programs, and first line diagnosis; inform
about community water sanitation practices and do health surveillance;
immunize children and mothers; and act as roving nurses for rural schoolds.

Under the project, the nurses would undergo training and development for
competency enhancement in accordance with the training program designed by
the PRC and the Board of Nursing in collaboration with the DOH. The nurse
trainees receive a monthly P8,000 stipend during their training period, and
under the signed MOA, the GSKF will shoulder the monthly allowance for the
100 additional nurse-trainees.

Thus far, the first batch of 5,000 nurse-trainees with a six-month tour of
duty under Project NARS had been successfully deployed to the 1,000 poorest
municipalities for a six month tour of duty beginning last April.

Meanwhile, the on-line application for the second batch beginning October
2009 has commenced. Project NARS website and pertinent information are
accessible in the Internet at www.dole., or

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