The government’s new policy of allowing only 5,000 healthcare workers to take up jobs abroad each year will begin on January 1, 2021, Malacañang said Monday.
Speaking at a news conference in Davao City, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte and the government’s COVID-19 task force studied the matter carefully.
“Ipinairal ang balancing of interests kung saan tinignan ang pangangailangan sa bansa ng nurses, nursing assistants, nursing aides habang ikinunsidera rin ang pagkilala ng talento ng mga Pilipino sa ibang bansa at demand sa ating mga kababayan sa ibayong dagat,” he said.
The cap comes after Duterte approved the recommendation by government officials to lift the temporary suspension of overseas deployment of nurses and other health workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Roque said the lifting the deployment ban was in line with the government’s policy of promoting full employment, rising standard of living, and improving the quality of life for all.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said over the weekend that the number of health workers that may be deployed can still be increased if the COVID-19 situation improves.
“Nagkaroon naman po ng kasiguraduhan ang DOH [Department of Health] na sapat po ang ating mga health professionals dito sa Pilipinas,” Roque said.
Malacañang had previously said Duterte imposed the deployment ban to ensure the safety of Filipino healthcare workers and beef up the Philippines’ medical manpower amid the pandemic, which has killed around 1.39 million people worldwide, including 8,123 in the Philippines.
Duterte started relaxing overseas employment restrictions for health workers in September when he allowed those who had contracts abroad as of August 31 to leave the Philippines.
Prior to that, only healthcare employees who had government-issued overseas employment certificates (OEC) and verified work contracts as of March 8 were exempted from the deployment ban.—AOL, GMA News