The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration have recommended to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to exempt medical workers, who have completed their overseas requirements as of Aug. 31, from the existing deployment ban on health workers.
DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the recommendation extends the previous cut-off date of March 8, permitting medical workers to report to their jobs abroad.
He added that the proposal was submitted in connection with the appeal of nurses and medical workers.
“Groups of nurses and medical workers have appealed to us and because of this, the POEA through a governing board resolution, if possible extend the cut off to August 31. We requested that those who have complete papers as of August 31 be allowed to leave the country. This is just the recommendation of the POEA,” Bello said in a radio interview yesterday.
Bello, also the chairman of the POEA Governing Board, said he submitted the recommendation to the Task Force.
“And I submitted that recommendation to the IATF with my support. In other words, I favorably endorsed that recommendation to the IATF.
And I am confident that the IATF will also approve it,” he said.
Bello estimated that the number of nurses to be allowed once the IATF approved the recommendation is only 1,200.
“We’re probably deploying some 1,200. The number will not affect our medical workers here,” Bello said.
The country temporarily suspended the sending of medical health workers abroad to ensure their safety amid the pandemic.
Meanwhile, 11 more Filipinos have contracted the highly infectious Covid-19 in the Middle East, Asia Pacific, and the Americas, raising the total number to 10,162.
The Department of Foreign Affairs also recorded an increase in Filipinos who recovered, with an additional 31, bringing the number to 6,413.
The death toll rose to 768 after five new fatalities in the Middle East were registered yesterday.
The active cases currently stand at 2,981 – at least 300 are undergoing treatment in Asia Pacific, 204 in Europe, 2,310 in the Middle East/Africa, and 167 in the Americas.
“As DFA personnel in our Foreign Service Posts continue to report on the status of Filipinos abroad, the DFA assures the public its unceasing efforts in attending to the needs of our people and facilitating requests for repatriation, whenever possible,” it said.
To date, the number of countries and regions with confirmed cases among Filipinos stands at 75, with a new report from an additional country in the Americas.*PNA