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"Saguip Nars" beneficiaries: "We can continue to work and serve in Ilocos Norte"

by PGIN-CMO

Jan. 22, 2020 ...

Thousands of nursing graduates in the Philippines hurdle for the Nursing Licensure Examination (NLE) yearly. The stress in finishing the course, along with the pressure of taking the exam is a totally different experience. What's even more challenging for nurses right after passing the examination is to seek for employment opportunities.

To address the unemployment issues of nurses in Ilocos Norte, the Provincial Government, through the initiatives of former Governor, now Senator Imee R. Marcos, launched the Saguip Nars program in March 28, 2014. It was reorganized under the leadership of Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc.

Jasmine Gay Demandante from Dingras, and Alvin Lloyd Villoria from Laoag City, both Ilokano registered nurses, shared in an interview the struggles they have experienced to immediately land on a job.

"Normally kasi dito sa Pilipinas, mahirap maghanap ng stable na trabaho ang mga nurse. Kailangan muna ng mga training at work experience. Ang una kong trabaho ay naging nurse ako sa Nurse Deployment Program (NDP) ng Department of Health (DOH) ng mahigit dalawang taon," Demandante said.

Villoria, a second time beneficiary of the Saguip Nars program also recalled his first experience as a recipient, including his previous jobs:

"Nagtrabaho ako sa Saguip Nars program ng probinsiya noong panahon ng dating Governor, ngayo'y Senator Imee Marcos. Kami 'yung unang batch noon ng programa. Bukod dito, naging company nurse muna ako sa mga retired na pari sa Diocese of Laoag; private nurse ng isang pamilya; at ngayo'y nagbabalik na beneficiary."

Demandante and Villoria consider the comeback of the Saguip Nars program as a helpful platform for nurses to find a stable job position in the long run.

"Naghahanap ako noon ng trabaho at saktong nakita ko ang Facebook post ng Provincial Employment Service Office (PESO) hiring for Saguip Nars kaya sinubukan kong mag-apply at nakuha naman ako. Stepping stone ang programang ito para sa'kin kasi lahat ng matututunan ko dito ay magagamit ko in the future," Demandante recalled.

"Natuwa talaga ako noong nalaman kong bumalik ang programang Saguip Nars sa probinsiya. Nag-apply ako dahil gusto ko pang madagdagan ang karanasan ko. Lalo pa akong natuwa dahil tumaas na ang sahod naming mga beneficiaries kumpara noong una," Villoria expressed.

Governor Marcos Manotoc affirms his commitment to further develop Ilocos Norte through a strengthened and revitalized health sector, which includes employment opportunities for every Ilokano, particularly those who are in the medical field.

The beneficiaries expressed their gratitude, saying, "Maraming mga nars ang nasisiyahan sa programang ito dahil alam naman natin na karamihan sa amin ay gustong mag-abroad. Dahil sa pagbabalik ng Saguip Nars program ng Provincial Government, we can say that we can now continue to work and serve here in Ilocos Norte, not in other countries."

"Iba pa rin kasi kapag dito [Ilocos Norte] manatili dahil mahirap din ang magtrabaho sa ibang bansa. Nagpapasalamat kami kay Governor Matthew sa oportunidad na ito dahil maraming mga nurses ang muling nagkaroon ng trabaho at pag-asa."

Demandante and Villoria are among the 50 beneficiaries for the first batch of the program this year, deployed at Governor Roque Ablan Sr. Memorial Hospital (GRASMH), Ilocos Norte Provincial Jail, and in various district hospitals in the province.

A total of 650 nurses has been assisted by the program since 2014.