By MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
DAGUPAN CITY – “They misunderstood Villar. She only came to the succor of the beleaguered nursing students who would be displaced in case the 23 nursing colleges would be closed”.
Declared by a registered nurse based here to her fellow nurses who assailed in the social media the answer of senatorial bet Cynthia Villar to the pose of TV host Winnie Monsod in GMA-7’s Pagsubok sa mga Kandidato in March 2 this year.
Monsod asked the former chairman of the Committee on Higher Education of the House of Representatives why she prevented the Commission on Higher Education to suspend the operation of the 23 nursing schools in 2005 to 2006 that made people insinuate that she sided with the owners of the colleges.
CHED found out that these schools pushed through in operating a nursing course despite the absence of a 100-bed tertiary hospital.
Villar explained that she and the members of the oversight committee of congress took pity with the school proprietors because they have already invested substantial amount on the nursing facilities and her concern for the students there who would be dislocated.
She added that a hospital is a requisite only after the students hurdle their third year.
When Monsod asked her explain if the quality of the nursing profession in the country declined because of the diminishing number of Filipino nurses abroad, Villar retorted by beating the 30 seconds allotted time left to her:”… Pero 'yung amin po, 'yung sinasabi po namin sa kanila na actually hindi naman kailangan ang nurse ay matapos ng BSN 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”.
“What’s wrong with those answers? My fellow nurses overacted, “quipped by the medical practitioner who asked for anonymity that this paper not mention her name lest she be witch hunted too in the social media by her bellicose brothers and sisters in the profession..
She lamented the countless of Filipinos who even rode on the Villar bashing that snowballed in Face Book Twitter, and other social media despite the apologies given by the former solon at different fora that she did not meant to belittle the capacity of the Filipino nurses.
She stressed that the ire of her colleague were misdirected. “They should laud Villar because of her intervention that saved the plight of many of the students of the 23 colleges. Even they could not finish the four-year course; many of them can still go abroad and be a room nurse or a care giver”.
She wondered the brouhaha brought by Villar’s “room nurse’ remarked where in reality many Filipino nurses with National Council Licensure Examination, an examination for the licensing of nurses in the United States, on their sleeves have been applying in droves to be care giver in Canada and Great Britain because of oversupply of the trade in America.
Even with NCLEX to boot, she said Filipino nurses are not automatically accepted as practitioner in these countries. “The job description that await them there are for care giver. They only become licensed to practice the profession after they hurdled the required schooling and obtained a diploma there.
Jun Orbeta, one who posted on Villar’s “mea culpa” at Face Book exhorted the thousand of pugnacious critiques who posted at the Fan Page of the senatorial bet.
“Pero in fairness ha hindi sila nag de- delete ng negative comments ha. Unlike duon sa site ni (senatorial candidates) Grace Poe at Risa Hontiveros. Nagpakawala lang ako ng minor negative comments in five minutes burado na ang post ko. Lalo nila ako ginalit (Grace Poe and Risa Hontiveros) lalong HINDI ko kayo iboboto. NEVER....,”
Anne Canson chided in parts her fellow reactors: “Humingi na siya ng tawad, tama na. Propesyonal tayo, umakto tayo bilang isa. Kung sa tingin nyo di sya karapatdapat iboto wag nyo isulat sa election ngunit ang babuyin ang litrato niya,hilingin na sana walang mangyari sa kanya o sirain ang pagkatao nya dahil lang sa hindi nya ibig sabihin na mga salita ay hindi tama. Nurse tayo, kumakalinga at hindi upang makisali sa isang issue ng Cyber Bullying”.
In Villar’s two page letter addressed in March 4 to the governing board, officers and staff of the Philippine Nurses Association, she explained her controversial answer: “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”.