President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the recommendation of Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) to allow nurses other health care workers with perfected contracts as of August 31 to go abroad, said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
In a virtual press briefing on Monday, Roque said the President has reached the decision after listening to the pleas of the nurses.
“Nakinig naman po ang Presidente sa hinaing ng mga nurses. So ang meron na pong kompletong papeles and complete documentation as of August 31, 2020, pinayagan na po ng Presidente na makaalis sa kanilang trabaho abroad,” Roque announced.
“According to the DOLE Secretary (Silvestre Bello III), makikinabang po ang 1,500 nurses and other health professionals,” he added.
Bello said last week that he submitted the recommendation to exempt healthcare workers with complete requirements as of August 31 from the temporary overseas deployment ban which was imposed since April 2020.
Previously, only those with perfected contracts on or before March 8 were allowed to go abroad and around 600 workers were able to go.
“Last March 8, we’re expecting about 900 to be deployed but those who left are only about 600. So, this time, we were expecting 1,200 but I doubt very much that we will be able to deploy the said number of medical workers,” he said.
POEA issued Resolution No. 09 last April temporarily suspending the deployment of all health care workers “until the national state of emergency is lifted and until Covid 19-related travel restrictions are lifted at the destination countries.”
“It is of paramount national interest to ensure that the country shall continue to have, sustain the supply, and prepare sufficient health personnel to meet any further contingencies, especially to replace, substitute or reinforce existing workforce currently employed, deployed or utilized locally,” the resolution read.
The order was issued to ensure that the country has a sufficient number of health workers amid the public health emergency.(With reports from PNA)