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Task force recommends lifting of deployment ban on healthcare workers

Some groups have claimed that the deployment ban would violate the health workers’ right to travel and the right against involuntary servitude and would prevent them from seek opportunities in other countries.

MANILA, Philippines — The government policy-making body on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has recommended the lifting of the deployment ban on health workers abroad after some sectors claimed that the policy would violate rights guaranteed by the constitution.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases issued a resolution reconsidering the deployment ban in its meeting on Monday.

"During the IATF meeting, (the IATF) reconsidered the policy on the travel ban on health workers. Those with existing perfected employment contracts will be able to leave," Panelo said in a text message.

Panelo said the IATF resolution is still subject to the approval of President Duterte but noted that the chief executive has not disapproved any recommendation made by the body.

"He (Duterte) stated in one of his televised message to the nation that he defers to the recommendation of the IATF," the president's chief legal adviser said.

Panelo said he has also submitted to Duterte a memorandum recommending the lifting of the travel ban on health workers with existing contracts.

Some groups have claimed that the deployment ban would violate the health workers' right to travel and the right against involuntary servitude and would prevent them from seek opportunities in other countries.

The POEA recently suspended the deployment of health workers abroad “to support the national objective of controlling the spread of COVID-19” amid the spike of confirmed cases in the Philippines.

In a resolution approved on April 2, the POEA governing board temporarily suspended the deployment of medical workers while the country is under the state of public health emergency due to coronavirus disease outbreak.

Credit belongs to : www.philstar.ca

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