Press Release
June 20, 2023

'Doktor para sa Bayan Act' update
Pia hails opening of medical school at Bohol Island State University

Senator Pia S. Cayetano welcomed the opening of a Doctor of Medicine program at the Bohol Island State University (BISU), describing it as an important step towards producing medical scholars who will serve their home provinces when they graduate.

Cayetano, who sits as vice chairperson of the Senate finance committee that handles the budget for education and health, said that BISU in Tagbilaran City is one of the recipients of funding under Republic Act (RA) No. 11509.

To recall, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) recently announced that it has approved BISU's application to offer a Doctor of Medicine beginning in the next semester after fulfilling CHED requirements.

RA 11509, also known as the 'Doktor para sa Bayan Law,' aims to raise the number of doctors in remote areas by establishing a medical scholarship and return service program in State Universities and Colleges (SUCs).

"The law requires not just scholarships for doctors, but also funding for SUCs to improve their infrastructure and equipment," the senator told members of the media during her visit to Tagbilaran City on Tuesday (June 20).

She noted that SUCs must open platilla positions for doctors and professors who will teach the courses. Establishing a medical school likewise requires support for pre-medical courses, such as the allied health professions, she added.

"And so it's not as simple as providing medical scholarships; you have to prepare the environment," Cayetano stressed.

The senator then shared her vision for BISU and other SUCs with medical schools: "One of the things I want to instill [among medical students] is love of community, and of course, love of country."

She explained: "When I say love of community, I know that Boholanons are very proud of their province. and that they would choose to stay if there are good opportunities."

"For me, I want to increase their opportunities through education. And one of its components is to develop one's love of community. And so once they graduate as doctors, they would want to stay and serve their home province or communities."

"So that's the goal. I want to be sure that service to the community is integrated in the curriculum. Wouldn't it be better if medical scholars choose to serve their own communities when they become professionals?"

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