MAYOR Celso Lobregat yesterday urged some 166 graduates of Western Mindanao State University’s (WMSU) special nursing program to place personal interest second only to their profession’s primordial “mission to give life.”
In his speech as guest speaker at the graduation of the second batch only of WMSU’s special nursing course, Lobregat noted the exodus og thousands of Filipino medical professionals leaving the country each year to join an estimated eight million other overseas Filipinos workers. He cited Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) estimates of as many as 2,000 doctors emigrating each year. He said if the trend continues, the Philippines will soon encounter a serious medical service crisis.
He, however, congratulated WMSU President Dr. Eldigario Gonzales for the high passing percentage that its nursing graduates have been rating in the nursing board examinations. He noted that seven out of 12 topnotchers in the exams given by Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) late last year were alumni of WMSU.
On the whole, he noted, the city has become a top-class center of high educational excellence particularly due to the existence of three universities in it. Aside from WMSU as the oldest university and the Ateneo de Zamboanga University, the former Zamboanga A.E. Colleges joined their ranks with its conversion into Universidad de Zamboanga, as it is now known, this year, he said with pride.
The mayor also seized the occasion to campaign for greater support for the city government’s vehement opposition to the transfer offices of government agencies as well as of the Southern Command headquaters to Pagadian City, as has been ordered by President Macapagal-Arroyo. He said local residents must stand together in opposing the twin moves because of the political, social and economic disadvantages these will mean to the city.
The commencement program was held at the Regency Convention Center in Pasonanca Park.
The first batch of the university’s nursing program graduated last October. (Rey-Luis Banagudos-PAO, WMSU)