Saying COVID-19 will not be the last pandemic, President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday called on Congress to pass laws on nursing education and establishing a medical reserve corps.
"We hail our health professionals as heroes. Now is the time to pass the Advanced Nursing Education Act and the law instituting the Medical Reserve Corps," Duterte said in his fifth State of the Nation Address.
"COVID-19 will not only be the last pandemic. We need to create the National Disease Prevention and Management Authority to better respond to future outbreaks," he added.
He said he is counting on Congress' full support for the "critical" endeavor.
Senator Bong Go, Duterte's former top aide, filed a bill amending the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002 in 2019. The bill seeks to protect and improve the nursing profession by "instituting measures that will result in relevant nursing education, humane working conditions, better career prospects and a dignified existence for our nurses."
This year, Go filed a bill seeking to establish a medical reserve corps who will help the government respond to medical and health care needs during national emergencies.
Senator Pia Cayetano has filed a similar measure. -NB, GMA News