Arroyo announces ‘NARS’ for unemployed nurses

The government has launched an employment program to address the growing number of unemployed nurses in the Philippines especially amid the ongoing economic crisis.

President Arroyo announced during her speech in the Multi-Sectoral Jobs Summit at the Heroes Hall in Malacañang the launch of the Nurses Assigned in Rural Areas (NARS) program.

“We are launching NARS, or nurses assigned in rural areas… They shall be mobilized in their home towns. They shall also serve as roving nurses for rural schools,” said Mrs. Arroyo.

The program plans to give qualified nurses job and training experience by fielding them to rural areas short of medical personnel.

The program mainly targets fresh nursing graduates who have passed the board examination but lack work experience to find jobs abroad.

Those who will be hired under the program will each receive P8,000 from the national government aside from a P2,000 stipend given by local governments to rural nurses.

The hirees will also receive benefits such as coverage from PhilHealth as well as Government Service Insurance System aside from privileges to be given by private companies.

The government is looking to hire at least 5,000 to 6,000 nurses who will serve six months to a full year’s assignment under the NARS program.

Delayed payment
Meanwhile, Mrs. Arroyo also announced that those who lost their jobs due to the ongoing crisis would not need to settle their surcharges and penalties from Social Security (SSS) loans right away.

She said the SSS is already implementing a program temporarily freeing laid-off workers from settling their surcharges and penalties for one year.

“In response to this concern raised two weeks ago, SSS is already implementing such a program for one year,” said Mrs. Arroyo.

Also announced in the Labor Summit are the implementation of the “green collar job” program for the unemployed and summer job programs for the youth.

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