Villar 'truly sorry' for nurse remark, seeks dialogue with PNA

A promise to reform the healthcare system in the country.

This is how former Las Piñas City Rep. Cynthia Villar promised to make up for the controversial remark she made about the nurses in the Philippines.

Apologizing to the Filipino nursing community, Villar also sought a dialogue with Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) and other nursing groups on healthcare reform agenda.

Related story: Villar draws nurses' ire with controversial statement 

“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,” Villar said in a two-page letter addressed to governing board, officers and staff of PNA.

She explained the lack of time and the complexity of the issue concerning a closure order issued by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) back in 2005 and 2006 prevented her from answering the question in a clear and concise manner.
 
The wife of Senator Manuel "Manny" Villar blamed the time limit provided for the senatorial candidates to address the question from the panel in Pagsubok sa mga Kandidato on GMA News TV.
 
“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,” Villar explained.

“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 clarified.

The senatorial aspirant issued the statement after she sparked an online outrage when she said that "nurses do not have to be that qualified" on national TV.

Villar, who is running under President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III's coalition, also appealed to Filipino nurses and nursing students not to judge her based on a comment made under extreme time pressure.
 
“It was really difficult to say everything I wanted to say about the problems confronting our nurses then and now within one minute and thirty seconds," Villar said.

"I have such a high regard for nurses wherever they are assigned to serve, which is why I felt sad for not being able to offer a more comprehensive and complete answer," she noted.

Villar noted that as early as May 2012, she was already advocating for a ladderized system of curriculum to help poor nursing students pass the nursing board.

She also underscored her commitment to fight for better wages for government nurses based on a law passed in 2002.

Related story: Comelec will be 'relaxed' on campaign expenses reports
 

Villar added the controversy arising from her remarks made her even more zealous about promoting the welfare of Filipino nurses.
 
“I sincerely want to learn more about the challenges confronting Filipino nurses here and abroad," she said.

"Perhaps, at the appropriate time and with the help of the PNA and your chapters worldwide, we could start a dialogue on a common agenda to help our nurses and improve services and facilities for public health care,” she added.

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