Labor Attaché Saul De Vries (middle row, right most) together with the Speakers from National Filipino American Lawyers Association (NFALA) and Philippine Nurses Association of America (PNAA). (Top L-R) Atty. Jeri Gonzales Abrams (Past President, NFALA), Atty. Bryan C. Ramos (President-Elect, NFALA), Marife Sevilla (PNAA). (Middle Row L-R) Virginia Alinsao (PNAA), Mary Joy Garcia-Dia (PNAA). (Bottom) Melissa Cunanan (PNAA)

13 March 2024
Embassy Press and Information Section

Washington, D.C. – The Migrant Workers Office of the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. successfully conducted on 5 March 2024 its first virtual Special Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar for 2024 for Filipino Nurses. Fifty-five nurses hired by employers in the United States and currently preparing for their departure from the Philippines participated in the seminar.

Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez in a recorded video message, greeted the attendees and wished them a successful migration to the United States. He also assured them of Embassy’s assistance should they encounter challenges and problems with their employment. He reminded them not to forget the values and principles of Filipinos who are known for their unparalleled compassion, dedication, and commitment to excellence.

Labor Attaché Saul De Vries said that the orientation was the first in a series of orientations lined up for US-bound Filipino nurses this year. “We started doing the SPDOS last year as our way of making the nurses more prepared in taking up employment and integrating in the US. We have received positive and encouraging comments about this initiative and that is why we will continue conducting the orientation throughout the year,” said De Vries.

The SPDOS is a pioneering initiative by the MWO. Until last year, there has not been any pre-departure orientation seminar conducted by the MWO for nurses in the past. The Philippine Nurses Association of America, Inc. (PNAA) and the National Filipino American Lawyers Association (NFALA) have teamed with the MWO to educate the nurses on labor rights and contractual obligations, immigration laws, work setting in the US healthcare system and effective ways for successful integration into the US society.

Lawyers Bryan Ramos and Jeri Gonzales of NFALA and healthcare practitioners Virginia Alinsao, Melissa Cunanan, Marife Sevilla and Mary Joy Garcia-Dia of PNAA served as resources speakers during the SPDOS. US staffing agencies and their partner recruitment agencies in the Philippines have helped in organizing the orientation by enlisting their candidate nurses in the program.