By Maricel Cruz/manilastandardtoday – Former Rep. Cynthia Villar of Las Pinas on Monday wrote a letter of apology to the Philippine Nurses Association in light of recent remarks during a senatorial media forum that have earned the ire of nurses here and abroad.
Villar, a senatorial bet in the LP camp, said that lack of time and the complexity of the issue concerning a closure order issued by the Commission on Higher Education several years ago prevented her from answering the question in a clear and concise manner.
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 answered Monsod by saying: “Ang sinasabi namin sa kanila na ‘actually, hindi naman kailangan ng nurse na matapos ang BSN (BS Nursing). Kasi itong mga nurses, gusto lang nilang maging room nurse.”
In asking for apology, Villar said she was unable to complete her answer because the alloted time of 1 minute for the first answer and another thirty seconds for a follow-up reply quickly lapsed.
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,” the head of the Villar Foundation said.
She added that: “At that time, I was part of a legislative oversight committee that had to intervene to make sure that the welfare and rights of these students, their parents, and teachers were given sufficient thought and consideration by CHED and the school owners.”
She also 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.
The candidate also known as “Misis Hanepbuhay” underscored her commitment to fight for better wages for government nurses based on a law passed in 2002 that was principally authored by her husband, Senator Manny Villar.
“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 Php 24,000 or Salary Grade 15 instead of the present Php 18,000 equivalent to only Salary Grade 11.”
Find more like this: News