MAAYONG ADLAW, AKO gali si tords!—as the school year comes to an end and students come up to the stage to receive their diplomas, I hear conversations and whispers of different students talking about their plans after college. Most talk about wanting to live abroad—especially the ones planning to pursue the medical field. Their words don’t necessarily surprise me. After all, why would you want to stay in a country that undermines you and your skills? 

It’s been a controversial and debatable topic in Congress regarding the mass migration of our workers. A number of people choose to move abroad, especially the ones in the medical field. Nurses are usually seen as the primary migrants, and I can’t say I blame them. After peeking at the paycheck of my sister when she had been breaking her back and nonstop restless nights, I wondered why she picked the medical field in a country like this. 

“…The elders keep saying they survived with lesser means—as if we should succumb to this treatment.”

It doesn’t stop there, though. With the number of nurses and healthcare workers leaving the country, the industry has been reduced to a pitiful state. We had to push through deployment bans during CoVid. Just recently, they even pushed forward the notion that hospitals should hire non-board passers who ‘nearly’ passed the exam and just have them shadow experience nurses despite being told by professionals from the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and the Filipino Nurses United (FNU) that this a breach of safety and ethical concerns are being brought upon by this practice.  

It almost baffles me that not only had they given a haphazardly done band-aid solution to a big problem and then proceeded to give a double workload to a nurse in an understaffed hospital. 

Not once did they mention that maybe they don’t have any workers left because of the underpaid and, at times, unworkable conditions that a health worker has to face in a cramped hospital. I think back to the small and meager salary and the hazard pay during the pandemic that barely covers the cost of living of an average Filipino. 

It’s become a common occurrence to the point where the elders keep saying they survived with lesser means—as if we should succumb to this treatment. 

It’s a shame that numerous countries praise the work ethics of a Filipino worker but our own can’t even do the bare minimum.