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POEA: Health workers with contracts abroad can now leave PH

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) on Wednesday said it will comply with the lifting of the suspension on the deployment of Filipino health workers with existing contracts abroad.

POEA chief Bernard Olalia said they will implement the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Resolution pertaining to Governing Board Resolution No. 9, series of 2020.

“IATF-EID affirms the POEA Resolution subject to the exception that healthcare workers with perfected and signed contract as of March 8 will be allowed to leave. Balik-manggagawa or workers resuming their jobs overseas may now leave the country,” Olalia said in a statement.

Olalia added that health care workers “with existing contracts to fulfill can now go back to their present jobs provided that on top of existing POEA processes in the issuance of OECs, they shall be further subjected to comply with social distancing measures as well as departure and immigration procedures currently in place.”

Among those that are now allowed to leave the country are medical doctors/physicians, nurses, microbiologists, medical biologists, medical technologists, clinical analysts, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, laboratory technicians, X-ray/radiologic technicians, nursing assistants/nursing aides, operators of medical equipment, supervisor of health services and personal care and repairman of medical-hospital equipment.

“The workers, however, are not allowed to go to countries where there are travel restrictions,” he added.

The POEA is set to issue the corresponding guidelines to implement the resolution.

On Wednesday, the IATF-EID issued a resolution allowing these workers to report to their work overseas.

The POEA earlier suspended the deployment of health care workers to ensure that the country has sufficient number of health workers if the need arises amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. (By Ferdinand Patinio, PNA)