Fielding Abroad 3-Million Filipino Nurses from 2024-to-2030 (And Millions More of OFWs)

by Bobby Reyes

Alan Michael Chambers, a nurse attached to USNS Mercy, demonstrates airway assessment procedure to nursing students at Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital. | Photo by Henry Gettys via Wikimedia Commons.

Part VIII of the “ReVOTElution of H.O.P.E.” Series

Yes, the Filipino people can field some 3-million Filipino nurses from 2024 (or even earlier) up to 2030, when many industrialized countries (and even developing nations) would need more than 6 million of them. (We are proposing to field only a modest half of the needed nurses.) The nursing shortage was announced by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2019, before the pandemic caused by the COVID-19 disease.

At the same time frame, we can also offer the services of millions more of Overseas-Filipino workers (OFWs) that are experts in their respective professions. It is suggested that they would also have extensive training in “social engineering.” This will give them an edge when it comes to hiring talents.

As you have read Part III of this series, we discussed the nursing school and a college of entrepreneurship founded by an OFW, Dr. Rusty Balderian, in his hometown of Tabontabon (Leyte). It will be easy to organize the suggested “College of Social Engineering” (CSE) with the participation of Dr. Balderian and his faculty members. This is in addition to the participation in the ventures by Filipino American and OFW educators. One of them is Art Pacho, Ph.D., who hails from Leyte also. Dr. Pacho was one time the president of the Filipino American Educators’ Association of Los Angeles, CA. (He invited me to become a member of his association, as he said that I was “educating the policymakers of the Philippines.”)

Now, we will discuss how we can train Nursing Board-certified Filipino nurses from mid-2022 to 2030. And fund their schooling in the Philippines and North America, internship, additional technical training, transportation, and initial board and lodging requirements — for the targeted 3-million of them. This may become a part of the projects of a former OFW, Rusty Balderian, who earned his modest but growing fame as a doctor of optometry and a doctor of medicine. Dr. Balderian founded a school of nursing in his hometown of Tabontabon (Leyte) in 2003. And how we can field bilingual Filipino nurses who are fluent in English and in Spanish (and French to those that may be assigned to work in Canada). And more with the help of Dr. Balderian and his friends.

The proponents in the Pueblo Filipino project in Colima Province (Mexico) may be able to help in their training to study nursing and other fields of medicine in Mexican universities because bilingual nurses and medical professionals are preferred by North-American medical facilities …”

The proponents in the Pueblo Filipino project in Colima Province (Mexico) may be able to help in their training to study nursing and other fields of medicine in Mexican universities because bilingual nurses and medical professionals are preferred by North-American medical facilities in their hiring process, aside from giving the recruits higher entry-level wages. This columnist has been discussing the plan with Numeriano Bouffard, the Pueblo Filipino prime mover. Mr. Bouffard is also the Federation of Philippine-American Chambers of Commerce (FPACC) Foundation, Inc., of Orlando (FL).

Mr. Bouffard has invited Dr. Balderian to join him and other Filipino community leaders to mark the 456th anniversary of the Filipino-Mexican Friendship in Jalisco Province of Mexico, starting on Nov. 21, 2021. Hopefully, by that time, the Philippine Daily Mirror and the www.mabuhayradio.com website (that this columnist co-publishes and edits) can provide online daily coverage of the week-long event in Mexico.

Also, as discussed in Part VI of this series it would be easy to organize a “College of Social Engineering” (CSE) mentioned in it. That is if Dr. Balderian and his faculty members will participate in proposing. Of course, the project must involve other interested universities and colleges in the Philippines. They can pool their human and financial resources in helping establish an online university. Remember my “Poolarization” (sic) idea, as written in this column for the Pueblo Filipino and Plant DNA? Yes, a Filipino institution that can offer distance-learning courses is doable and bankable; it can have courses from nursing to other medical courses to social engineering. And even journalism.

According to the PDM CEO Richie Rillera, the Filipino-American Press Club of New York (that he once headed) is embarking on putting up scholarship grants. The grants are geared for deserving Filipino-descent students to study journalism.

Yes, my Overseas-Filipino friends and fellow OFWs have been giving supposedly doable ideas for real nation-building projects.”

By the next edition of this current series, we will also discuss the details of a “Filipino/Overseas-Filipino Distance Learning Project.” This columnist first proposed more than two decades ago the said idea to five Ateneo universities and to then-Sen. Raul Roco, the keynote speaker in an All-Ateneo homecoming in New Jersey in 2000.

Mr. Roco eventually was nominated to become the Secretary of Education by President Gloria M. Arroyo.

Yes, my Overseas-Filipino friends and fellow OFWs have been giving supposedly doable ideas for real nation-building projects. But to no avail. The Filipino policy and decision makers seem not to support any idea that did not come from them and their staff or advisers. Almost all of our proposals landed on the wastebaskets or in the “delete” button of their staffers’ keyboards. It was painful to know that many national leaders of the Philippines think they have a monopoly of bright ideas and nationalism.

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