19 JULY 2023
Embassy Press and Information Section
WASHINGTON D.C. – The Philippine Embassy, through its Migrant Workers Office (MWO) and Welfare Office, launched its Special Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (SPDOS) for Filipino nurses migrating to the United States on 18 July 2023. Fifty-four (54) nurses with complete and signed US employment contracts attended the first-ever virtual SPDOS that aims to enhance their level of preparedness for employment, and transition to their new environment in the US. The seminar will be held monthly until November this year in cooperation with US employers and staffing agencies hiring Filipino nurses.
Addressing the participants, Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez said that nurses’ migration to the US marks the beginning of an exciting chapter in their lives – one that presents countless opportunities and allows them to make a significant impact in the field of US healthcare. “No matter where you go, never forget the values and principles that make Filipinos the best nurses in the world — unparalleled compassion, dedication and commitment to excellence”, he said to the nurses.
In addition, Labor Attaché Saul De Vries said, “Many Filipino nurses in the US encountered employment and integration issues during their first three years of arrival. To avoid or minimize these issues, we have taken the strategy of reaching out to them while they are still in the Philippines and provide them with useful information on how best they can adapt to the US work and life setting”.
The Embassy has teamed up with the Philippine Nurses Association of America, Inc. (PNAA) and the National Filipino American Lawyers Association (NFALA) for the event. Resource speakers Virginia Alinsao, Melissa Cunanan and Mindy Ofiana of PNAA discussed work expectations in the US healthcare system, integration into the US society, and available support system for nurses. Meanwhile, NFALA’s lawyers Bryan Ramos and Jeri Gonzales Abrams expounded on labor rights and contractual obligations, and legal remedies and resources for nurses.
To close, Labor Attaché De Vries elucidated on the role of the MWO in the hiring and deployment of Filipino nurses. Assistant Labor Attaché Marie Josephine Borromeo also encouraged the participants to take to heart the information shared during the seminar. She reminded the audience that one’s excitement to migrate to the US should not overshadow the importance of educating themselves about the finer details of their employment contract, as well as the realities of working in the US.###