Duterte Presented with Options on Lifting the Healthcare Worker’s Deployment Ban
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) presents options to President Duterte regarding the healthcare workers’ plea on lifting the overseas deployment ban.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles states that the IATF is coordinating with the Office of the President to address the rising number of healthcare workers wishing to leave the Philippines for jobs overseas.
The Philippines imposed the overseas deployment ban on healthcare workers back in April to help reduce the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the country. Along with such reasons, the deployment ban was implemented due to the increase in demand for healthcare professionals.
As of September 13, there are approximately 49,000 active cases in the Philippines, averaging at 3,000 cases per day.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque expressed that the implementation of the deployment ban was to ensure that the country will have a steady workforce of healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IATF has submitted a letter to the President with options on how to address the issue. The letter included the number of affected healthcare workers and how it will benefit them if they were permitted to leave the country.
Nograles continued, “We gave options to the President, so let’s just wait as to what his decision will be on this.”
According to the Palace, healthcare workers who have secured overseas employment certificates from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and verified employment contract as of March 8 are allowed to fly out of the country.
Healthcare workers who have been working abroad and are temporarily in the Philippines for a vacation can also leave the country.