Here below is a most encouraging news from CFO Chair, Mely Nicolas, who has worked very hard to help convince the powers-that-be in the Philippines to revise the very restrictive and unfair PRC Guidelines for foreign medical missionaries to the Philippines. – Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, Chairman, Filipino United Network (USA) firstname.lastname@example.org
August 17, 2012
To all medical missioners,
Warmest greetings from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO)!
I am very pleased to inform you that our meeting today regarding the new PRC guidelines (PRC Resolution 2012-668) with the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), attended by Department of Health (DOH)’s Undersecretary Teodoro Herbosa (representing DOH Secretary Ona), produced excellent and tangible results!!
If you would recall, you have expressed to both CFO and DOH your vehement objections to several provisions of the PRC Resolution, specifically: (Section 5) on the increase in the payment of fees for the issuance of special temporary permits and (Section 17)on the need to acquire liability insurance. All these we relayed to PRC.
It was then a very pleasant surprise when during the meeting PRC announced through the authorized representative/spokesperson of the PRC Chairperson Teresita Manzala: PRC is suspending immediately the implementation of Sections 5 and 17 of the PRC Resolution!!
In view of this, please note that the rules governing the conduct of medical missions in the Philippines remain embodied in the current Joint Administrative Order (A.O.) No. 2009-0030 (please see attached), which all medical missioners have been following all this time and all along, since 2009. So to all of you, please DO NOT CANCEL your scheduled medical missions to the Philippines. Please proceed with your applications and just follow all the required procedures and documents stated in the above mentioned A.O.
DOH Undersecretary Herbosa reiterated “the leading role of DOH in overseeing the implementation of foreign surgical and medical missions (FSMM) in the country”. He made the motion that after listening to all the stakeholders present at the meeting and those who sent their emails and made their calls, DOH, CFO, DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) and PRC should organize by October a multi-stakeholders’ strategic planning workshop on: FSMM, the current Joint A.O., rationalization of needs-based FSMM, strengthening the coordination, communications and complementation among stakeholders, etc.
We would like to thank PRC and DOH for helping all of us resolve this issue. We also would like to thank all of you for speaking out and for having the patience to wait for the results of this process. We all have the country’s benefit and welfare in mind! We shall overcome! Mabuhay tayong lahat!
Very truly yours,
SECRETARY IMELDA M. NICOLAS