RP seeking informal talks with US nursing body, says Brion
Quezon City (21 February) -- Labor Secretary Arturo Brion said the Philippine government may open informal talks with the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) to ask for a "flexible implementation" of its policy.
Brion said he met with CGFNS representatives on Sunday and asked them if they were flexible about the retake of Tests 3 and 5 for Filipino nurses who passed the June 2006 board exam and wanted to work in the United States.
"'We can talk,' they said; we talked about some options, which I cannot yet make public," he told reporters.
He said the country could explore the possible flexible implementation of the CGFNS policy during the informal talks.
Brion met with officials of the Professional Regulation Commission on Monday morning to relay the "options" he discussed with the CGFNS representatives.
"I think these options could solve our problem with CGFNS," Brion said.
Brion said he asked the group to make public announcements explaining the VisaScreen process.
He said CGFNS representatives were planning to put up a "public bulletin" to explain the policies of their group and to clarify the "retake" requirement for June 2006 nursing licensure exam passers.
In an earlier radio interview, Brion said he consulted with the Department of Labor and Employment's legal department and found out that the possibility of a formal appeal as ordered by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last week was slim.
"I've asked our lawyers to look into the matter but so far they are not too happy about a formal appeal and say there is not much we can do about a US law," he told radio station dzEC.
Brion acknowledged that the government was still not sure how it could assist the affected June passers in getting jobs in the United States, at least for now.
Malacañang had promised to extend assistance to the examinees in getting work abroad. (PIA)