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Filipino nurses looking for a job can apply for a new Department of Health program that will deploy unemployed nurses to poor communities in the country.

Health Secretary Enrique Ona said the project RN HEALS addresses the shortage of skilled and experienced nurses in 1,221 rural and unserved or underserved communities for one year.

"It seeks to make essential health services available to all Filipinos by training and deploying 10,000 unemployed nurses in communities to be identified by the DOH in collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare & Development," he said in a statement.

Ona said nurses chosen for the project will receive P8,000 monthly allowance from the health department. He encouraged local government units where the nurses will be assigned to give an additional P2,000 worth of allowances and benefits.

Registered nurses who are physically and mentally fit, and willing to serve in their municipalities may apply online at the DOLE website ( from January 17 to February 4 this year.

Preference will be given to residents of the municipalities covered by the Health Facilities Enhancement Program of DOH and Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or the Conditional Cash Transfer of the DSWD.

"Eventually, these nurses will be part of the pool of competent nurses for later employment or absorption in health facilities, thus addressing the inadequate supply of skilled nurses and increasing the nurses' employment rate," the health secretary said.