^

Headlines

Health worker deployment ban may be eased

Mayen Jaymalin - The Philippine Star
Health worker deployment ban may be eased
DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said about 1,200 healthcare workers can leave the country for overseas employment once the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases lifts the ban, although partially.
Boy Santos, file

MANILA, Philippines — The government may lift the ban and allow partial deployment of Filipino healthcare workers abroad, according to the Department of Labor and Employment.

DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said about 1,200 healthcare workers can leave the country for overseas employment once the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases lifts the ban, although partially.

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) chief Bernardo Olalia said among those to be allowed to leave are newly hired workers should the IATF approve their recommendation.

“As long as they have complete documents as of Aug. 31, even new hires will be allowed to leave for jobs overseas. POEA made the recommendation (but) this issue is pending for approval of the IATF,” Olalia said.

Bello yesterday said he endorsed to the IATF a resolution of the POEA allowing the deployment of healthcare workers who have completed the required documents as of Aug. 31.

Bello expressed confidence that the IATF as well as President Duterte would approve the POEA’s recommendation.

Allowing deployment of over a thousand healthcare workers, Bello said, would not affect the country’s current supply of medical professionals.

In response to the pandemic, the POEA said healthcare workers were barred from leaving the country, except for those whose employment contracts have been approved as of March 8.

Groups of healthcare workers and recruiters have been urging the government to lift the deployment ban.

The Filipino Nurses United (FNU) said health workers have the right to choose better employment opportunities abroad.

It said some of those who were barred from leaving have spent P100,000 for medical examination and other requirements to work abroad.

Meanwhile, the DOLE reported massive displacement of workers in Bahrain as over 8,000 establishments closed down due to COVID-19.

Labor attaché Vicente Cabe said the closure of establishments displaced some 14,250 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

The agency said there were 803 displaced OFWs who sought repatriation. Of the  figure, 457 have returned home since the start of the pandemic.

The government of Bahrain shouldered the repatriation cost of the displaced OFWs, DOLE said.

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration worked with Bahrain’s Labor Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) for the repatriation of the OFWs.

Citing report from the Bahrain’s Ministry of Labor and Social Development, DOLE said the pandemic forced some 8,800 establishments to shut down.

“This resulted in massive job displacement wherein OFWs were either forced to resign, experienced erratic work hours, reduced salaries and worse, were temporarily laid off for three to four months without financial support from employers,” DOLE said.

The LMRA reported that 97 percent of those who lost their jobs were expats who decided to go home for good.

Aside from repatriation, the Bahrain government gave assurance to help displaced Filipino workers settle their labor-related claims as most employers refused to fulfill contractual obligations.

The LMRA is still helping 111 workers acquire plane tickets and whose claims were already settled by their employers.

DEPLOYMENT BAN HEALTH WORKER
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with