Press Release
April 29, 2021

Bong Go commends inclusion of PRC frontliners, examiners in the A4 group of the government's vaccine priority list

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go lauded the government's decision to include frontliners of the Professional Regulation Commission, such as proctors and watchers, for upcoming professional board exams, and board examiners in the A4 priority group for COVID-19 vaccination.

"Nagpapasalamat po tayo at kinokomendahan natin ang desisyon ng national government na isama ang ating PRC frontliners at board examiners sa A4 priority group ng ating COVID-19 vaccination program," began Go.

"Maituturing dapat na essential workers ang mga miyembro ng PRC na nagsasagawa ng mga professional board exams. Kung protektado sila dahil sa bakuna, mas makakapagtrabaho sila ng maayos para hindi maantala ang mga kailangan ng ating mga kababayan para sa kanilang mga propesyon," he added.

In his previous appeal, Go emphasized the significant role of the PRC in processing and evaluating professionals, particularly nursing graduates, which, in turn, could address the need of the country for more medical frontliners amid the pandemic.

"Kung mapoproteksyunan ng bakuna ang PRC examiners, proctors at iba pang personnel, maisasagawa natin agad ang board exams sa ligtas na paraan at mas madadagdagan natin ang mga healthcare professionals sa lalong madaling panahon," Go said in his appeal.

In a letter addressed to the Senate Committee on Health chaired by Go, the PRC requested assistance to have its frontliners, members of Professional Regulatory Boards and other personnel of the agency to be included in the vaccination program of local government units as they are constantly exposed to COVID-19 due to the nature of their work.

The PRC cited that, in March alone, a total of 52 COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the agency's central and regional offices, including a member of the Board of Medical Technology who succumbed to the disease.

Go heeded PRC's request, citing the role of the agency in augmenting the number of healthcare professionals in the country amid the ongoing pandemic.

"Kung mababakunahan ang mga kawani ng PRC na magsasagawa ng mga board exam na ito, tiyak na makakapaghold tayo ng mga kinakailangan nating board exams na makakatulong sa ating health care system," he noted.

But aside from PRC frontliners, Go also asked authorities to consider the inclusion of soon-to-be health professionals or pre-board nursing graduates in the vaccination priority list, particularly those who are scheduled to take their licensure exams this year -- without prejudice to already identified priority sectors and depending on the scheduled availability of additional vaccine doses.

He cited the need to take immediate steps to address the shortage of healthcare professionals in the country amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"Hirap na hirap na po ang ating mga doktor, nars, at iba pang health workers. Kailangan na talagang madagdagan sila. Marami po diyan na nagsitapos na ng pag-aaral at kinakailangan na lang pumasa ng board exam para maging ganap na health professional," said Go.

"Gawin na natin ang kailangan para matulungan sila at matulungan rin ang kapwa nilang health workers sa paglaban sa COVID-19," he added.

Previously, Go has also supported the appeal of seafarers and other Overseas Filipino Workers to be inoculated with vaccines that are acceptable in their country of destination, as well as the provision of necessary documentation to prove that they have been vaccinated.

The Senator has also recommended the inclusion of certain essential sectors in the vaccine priority list. Among these sectors that have already been included in the A4 category through Go's recommendation are frontline news media workers and airport personnel.

Meanwhile, Go filed in July 2019 Senate Bill No. 395, also known as the "Advanced Nursing Education Act of 2019". The measure 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.

Go's proposed measure will require the establishment of standard basic and graduate programs for nursing education, to be established in Commission on Higher Education-accredited institutions of higher learning.

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