UP Manila to fight brain drain by requiring med-school grads three years of local service

(SPOT.ph) In an effort to alleviate brain drain, the University of the Philippines is implementing the Return Service Program (RSP) in several colleges in UP Manila, reports GMA News. Dean of UP Manila's College of Medicine Alberto Roxas said that graduates of the medicine program will be required to serve the country for three years after graduation while other colleges will serve for at least two years.

 

"[This program] is voluntary, but it is an absolute requirement for admission," said Roxas in GMA News' Unang Balita. "Ibig sabhin, kung ayaw mo, eh 'di huwag kang pumasok sa UP (It means, if you don't like the program, then don't enroll in UP)." The program is already being implemented in UP Manila's College of Allied Medical Profession, College of Dentistry, College of Medicine, College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, College of Public Health, and School of Health Sciences.

 

Roxas said that the government subsidizes approximately 80 percent of medical education in the college so students should pay this back through service to the country. Data from the UP College of Medicine showed that over 80 percent of the graduates leave the country to practice overseas.

 

While some people applaud this measure, Kabataan party-list Rep. Raymond Palatino, however, pointed out some inconsistencies. "The irony here is that UP is a state agency requiring students to stay in the country, but it is the national government that is continuing to implement a labor export policy," he said.

 

Moreover, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said that while it alleviates brain drain, underemployment might become a problem. An unnamed DOLE official interviewed by GMA News said, "The issue in the market today is the job-skills mismatch. May mga trabaho pero hindi nakaakma doon sa tinapos ng estudyante (There are jobs but they don't fit the qualifications of the students)."

 

For more on this story, log on to GMA News.

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