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Philippines keeps overseas deployment ban on health workers

The Philippines maintained its overseas deployment ban on health workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a resolution, Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) said the temporary suspension of the overseas deployment of medical and allied health workers was due to the continuing state of public health emergency caused by the pandemic.

“For this purpose, the DOH (Department of Health) and all hospitals and healthcare facilities of local government units and entities are enjoined to hire these medical and allied health workers to supplement their current workforce,” the policymaking IATF said on Monday.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque told a news conference on Tuesday that the deployment ban might be lifted once the pandemic is under control.

“Hindi natin masabi kung kailan, but we have a state of a public health emergency, so siguro po pag humupa na po itong health emergency na ito,” he said.

In April, the IATF said only healthcare workers who have signed employment contracts as of March 8 will be allowed to leave the country.

Malacañang earlier said the deployment ban was implemented to ensure the safety of Filipino healthcare workers amid the pandemic, which has killed more than 770,000 people worldwide, including 2,681 individuals in the Philippines. Virgil Lopez/KBK, GMA News