Overseas deployment of health workers with contracts as of March 8 allowed
Healthcare workers wave to residents of an adjacent condominium who showed support to frontliners.
The STAR/Edd Gumban
Overseas deployment of health workers with contracts as of March 8 allowed
(Philstar.com) - August 20, 2020 - 5:52pm

MANILA, Philippines — Health workers with overseas employment contracts as of March 8 may now leave the country for work, Malacañang said Thursday.

"The [COVID-19 task force] this afternoon decided that health professionals with papers, meaning [Oversees Employment Certificate] issued by the [Philippine Overseas Employment Administration] and employment contracts verified as of March 8, 2020, can leave the country," presidential spokesman Harry Roque said during a virtual announcement.

This comes just two days after the COVID-19 task force reinforced the restriction on medical workers from seeking job overseas.

The ban, announced by presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Tuesday, was contained under Resolution No. 64 of the interagency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases (IATF), which oversees the government’s overall pandemic response.

“Considering the continuing State of Public Health Emergency, the overseas deployment of the medical and allied health workers is hereby temporarily suspended,” the resolution read.

Roque earlier today revealed that the COVID-19 task force would be reviewing a plea made by nurses for exemptions from the ban but said he was optimistic that nationalism would prevail among the country's health workers.

"Even if our health workers go abroad, they will leave loved ones here. Hopefully, they consider that. No one will attend to their families if needed. I hope that convinces them," he said during a virtual briefing. — Bella Perez-Rubio with a report from Ian Cigral 

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