The Philippine embassy in Washington D.C. has denounced a recent remark made by District of Columbia Councilmember Marion Barry, criticizing local hospitals for hiring Filipino nurses.
Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Cuisia has demanded Barry to apologize to Filipino nurses for his “deplorable” remark.
According to a Washington Post report, the Councilmember was quoted as saying he wanted more District residents from Columbia to become nurses so hospitals don’t have to rely on “immigrants” from the Philippines.
“In fact, it’s so bad, that if you go to the hospital now, you’ll find a number of immigrants who are nurses, particularly from the Philippines. And, no offense, but let’s grow our own nurses, so that we don’t have to be scrounging around in our community clinics and other kinds of places, having to hire people from somewhere else,” he said.
Cuisia found Barry’s remark “intolerant” and “narrow-minded.”
“Councilmember Barry’s penchant for blaming Asians, who only want to work for their American dream, fuels racism, discrimination, and violence. He owes Filipino nurses an apology for his recent tirade,” the ambassador said.
He added that the Philippines, being the biggest supplier of registered nurses, has become a major player in the global healthcare market amid a global nursing shortage.
“Filipino nurses are known to be competent, hardworking, caring, and possess good work ethic. These are some of the reasons why most patients prefer and trust them. Like many good citizens, they pay their taxes and contribute to the American economy,” Cuisia pointed out.
However, according to the same Washington Post report, Barry insisted that his statement was taken out of context and that he was merely stating a fact.
This was not the first time the District Councilmember was censured for his “racist” comments.
Earlier this month, Barry was forced to apologize after referring to Asian-owned businesses as “dirty shops.”