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DOLE mulls higher overseas deployment cap of 10,000 next year

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is considering the increase of the deployment cap on nurses and other health care workers (HCWs) to 10,000 next year.

In a virtual briefing, Labor assistant secretary Dominique Tutay said that from the current cap of 6,5000, that the technical working group is planning to increase it to 10,000 next year. But it will push through if one condition is met.

“But there is still a condition: If we will be able to produce 12,000 registered nurses for 2021,” said Tutay.

Tutay added that if the condition is not met, the new cap for next year will still depend on the production of nurses and health careworkers but it will not go back to 5,000 per year.

“Ang pinag-uusapan na ng TWG on Mission Critital Skills is certain percntage na lang aang aming titignan, depending on the production of supply. Sa ngayon, sinasabi namin na that’s 30% practically of the intended supply. Pero kung hindi man siya 30% and the supply is below the desired, we might consider other percentage or options for increasing the deployment cap,” Tutay explained.

Tutay also assured that the plan of increasing the deployment cap to 10,000 will not affect the exemption given to health care workers going to the United Kingdom.

Aside from nurses and HCWs to the UK, balik-manggagawa and those under the government-to-government arrangment such as Triple Win Germany are also exempted from the overseas deployment cap.

POEA announced last week that the deployment of nurses and HCWs abroad has been temporarily stopped after the 6,500 limit was reached.

In April last year, the government has set a 5,000 annual deployment cap with newly hired healthcare workers for mission-critical skills. The ceiling was raised to 6,500 in June this year amid calls for the government to allow more healthcare workers to be deployed overseas.