Presidential Spokesperson Atty. Harry Roque has one tip for nurses looking to boost their chance of working abroad once the ban is lifted: Apply at the Department of Health (DOH) emergency hiring and handle Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients.
In a virtual press briefing on Monday, Roque said that nurses with experience dealing with COVID-19 patients will give them the advantage which foreign employers are looking for.
“I think that if you apply for a job in the emergency recruitment of our government and work while we continue to grapple with Covid, you’ll even be more sought-after when this pandemic is over,” Roque said.
Roque emphasized that nurses have to gain years’ worth of experience working as a nurse in the country before working overseas.
“With your clinical experience at the time of Covid, you will become the subject of headhunters. So have a little more perseverance but take advantage of the opportunity also to prove your worth in the Philippines as clinical nurses,” he said.
He also appealed to nurses to understand that the government is also looking for their safety by preventing them to work abroad.
“The first consideration of our President is to ensure the health of our health workers because the countries they want to work for are facing a worse Covid-19 situation,” he said.
According to Roque, healthcare workers should also take into consideration their duty to serve fellow Filipinos first.
“There are vacant positions here. I hope you consider working here first,” he said.
Last week, Roque appealed to nurses’ sense of nationalism to convince them to stay while the country is facing a state of public health emergency.
“I think at the time of the pandemic, nationalism will prevail in the hearts and feelings of our nurses,” Roque said.
He said the government is already providing healthcare workers additional benefits such as risk allowance, PHP15,000 for those who get infected with Covid-19, life insurance, free accommodation and transportation, and free and regular testing.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) earlier issued Resolution 09, temporarily suspending the deployment of all healthcare workers “until the national state of emergency is lifted”.
However, healthcare workers with perfected and signed overseas employment contracts as of March 8 to work abroad.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases also released resolution No. 64 temporarily suspending the deployment of medical professionals.
Earlier this month, Malacañang announced plans to hire 10,000 healthcare workers to boost the workforce. (via PNA)