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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, September 3, 2020
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Exec: POEA to study petition to ease
deployment ban for health workers


The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) will look into the request of some health workers to exempt those who have overseas employment contracts crafted as of August 31 from the existing deployment ban, its administrator said yesterday.

“As of now, there is a recommendation instead of March 8, cutoff date for the employment contract if possible to adjust it since it was allowed in early June, and now it’s already September,” Administrator Bernard Olalia said in a virtual meeting with groups of nurses, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and other stakeholders.

Olalia added they will need a number of those nurses with contracts as of August 31 and a written request from them to be able to push for their request.

“What we will do is we will get a written request from nurses, how many of them are in the pipeline and how many of them have perfected contracts as of August 31. We have to have supporting data to back our request then we can form our arguments in favor of that request,” Olalia said.

Meanwhile, Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III, who is also one of the guests in the meeting, said they have to meet with other government agencies and stakeholders to be able to know the real numbers.

“We will first meet with the Philippine Nurses Association, Department of Health and Philippine Regulation Commission to know how many nurses we have and their classification for us to know if we can afford to send some abroad,” he added.

Bello said they would like to see the number of those who have completed their papers as of August 31.

He said the manageable number of nurses to be allowed in case the IATF approved the request, would be 2,000 to 5,000.

“We will see if for example, we will extend it to August 31 and we will lose only about up to 5,000, maybe we can convince IATF to consider it if it (counts) beyond that, it would be very difficult,” he added.

Bello said they want to control the deployment of medical workers abroad as the country is battling the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

“We really have to closely monitor the development of pandemic in our country, if ever we will allow the uncontrolled sending of our medical workers. I don’t want to reach the point that our fellowmen who got sick from Covid-19 have no medical workers who will attend to them because they are all abroad,” he added.*PNA


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