I just finished my recent blog about the Philippines government exchanging nurses for COVID vaccines to UK and Germany, when my friend sent me this link to Manila Bulletin’s website entitled ‘Hindi kami katulong’: Netizens call out DepEd over viral learning material ‘looking down’ on nurses, my curiosity arose and read through it. She asked me what I think about it. Apparently, she was the one who posted it online and was shared by so many people that it reached the media. Below are screenshots of our conversation. She sent me the PDF of the module.

I read the article and in the end it says that they are not sure if it really is a DEP-ED approved learning material. Well people, here’s a proof that it really is. In the video below, I will even show you who the writers are.

BAKIT BA KAYO NAOFFEND? MINAMABABA NYO BA MGA KATULONG? (Why did you get offended, are you belittling nannies/maids?)

Let me list the reasons why we got offended…

hindi namin minamababa ang mga katulong (we’re not belittling maids/nannies)

The learning material says “Katulong ng doktor”. Katulong in english can mean “maid, “helper” or “assistant”. The job nanny, or maid, or katulong has NOTHING to do with why we were offended. We are also not degrading this job. Just like any other job, being a maid or nanny is noble.

The problem isn’t with the word “katulong”. The problem is the whole context itself and the misconceptions that come with it. It’s etching this concept to the minds of young ones is what’s bothering me. The problem with the statement is that our roles as nurses in the health care setting is very different from just being an assistant or helper of doctors. Fine, you can also say katulong means “allied”. Yes we are allied health professionals but not just TO doctors but to everyone in the health care setting. If you are going to label us this, you might as well label physiotherapists, pharmacists, medical technicians, as “KATULONG NG DOKTOR.” cause we all help them diagnose and treat these patients.


Ok, let’s say that this module was created before pandemic, guess what, IT DOESN’T MATTER!

Once when I was a nurse in the Philippines, we asked my little sister what job she wants when she grows up. She enumerated professions like, doctor (like my dad), engineer (like my brother), chemist (like my uncle), etc., but she never mentioned nurse. My mum asked her “Don’t you wanna be a nurse?”. She answered “Ay ayoko kasi katulong lang ng doktor.” (“Oh I don’t want to because it’s just an assistant of a doctor.”) I cried. Will you not be offended especially if it comes from the mouth of your little sister? We never taught her this, but where did she get it? She also cried and realised she offended me and said because that’s how nurses are usually portrayed. She probably had read the same material at school that my friend uploaded on facebook.

Dep-ed, is this really what you want to teach our next generation? Don’t you think it’s time to uphold this profession given the lack of health care workers in our country? When are you going to prioritise our health care? We need children to be inspired and treat all humans equal. We do not want them to grow up thinking that one profession is superior to others!

FYI, KATULONG DIN NAMIN ANG DOKTOR! (Fyi, doctors are our helpers too!)

Our goal as health care professionals is the health and well being of our patients. We cannot reach this if we do not have a multidisciplinary team, each having their own roles. Nurses spend most of their time at patients’ bedside, and when you do, what do you get from patients? Their concerns, pain, anxiety, depression, the symptoms of their illnesses. Nurses are there to collect all these information readily so that the doctors can help us make a diagnosis and plan, answer our patients’ concerns and treat their illnesses. We are not there to just help doctors, we help each other for our patients’ best interest! Katulong namin ang doktor sa buong proseso ng pagpapagaling ng pasyente!


Nurse came from the word “nurture” (pangalagaan or pangarugaan in tagalog). We were not called this for some random reason. It is the very essence of nursing. We take care of our patients’ physical, mental, emotional, and sometimes even spiritual well being. So why define us as helper or assistants of doctors?


In some ways I believe in this statement especially if you want to be a leader. You need to earn you colleagues’ respect, and that means great work ethics and wonderful leadership and management skills. However, in most cases, RESPECT IS BASIC!

Pare parehas naman tayong tao, bat kailangan may patunayan ako sayo para respetuhin mo ko? Bat kailangan ba nakatapos ako ng medicine degree para lang di mo ko sigawan sa gitna ng hallway dahil di ako agad nakapunta nung nag call bell ka, o kaya pagbitbitin mo ko ng Louis Vuitton na bag habang nag aantay ka ng Mercedes na sasakyan mo kahit wala ka namang ibang hawak na gamit? Excuse me ah, pero kailangan ko pa kasing mag insert ng IV at magbigay ng gamot dun sa iba kong pasyenteng nagsesepsis eh!

A lot of patients’ in the Philippines are so entitled that they think because we are just “katulong of doctors” that they can treat us less than them. This is the kind of issue we need to voice out about. Our silence is an invitation for other people to degrade this profession. Can you not see this happening in the Philippines now? We are even being traded for COVID vaccines like a commodity! Again, exploited and devalued!

So to those who got offended, I AM PROUD OF YOU! You should be! You may not change how things are now, but you can change other people’s perception and views about us, thus the start of change. Just go and influence the younger generation and maybe in the future, the system will be a lot better!

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