Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Administrator Undersecretary Bernard Olalia on Saturday said that the agency has resumed processing the application of nurses who want to work abroad after President Duterte lifted the deployment ban.
“The POEA already issued a governing board resolution after President Duterte lifted the temporary suspension on nurses. POEA is processing applications for nurses, nursing aides, and nursing assistants who want to work abroad,” Olalia said.
Olalia added that at least 100 employment agencies have submitted the applications of nurses who seek greener pastures in the United Kingdom, Germany, and other countries.
He explained that while there is a 5,000 cap on nurses allowed to work outside the country, this can increase depending on the recommendation of POEA to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).
“Our limit is 5,000 for 14 HCWs, including nurses and others covered by mission-critical skills. If we will exceed the 5,000, we can ask the permission of the IATF depending on our healthcare system as we are still facing the pandemic,” he added.
On the other hand, Olalia said that the ban on doctors, pharmacists, and dentists remains.
“We will review our data if we the POEA can recommend the lifting of the temporary suspension,” Olalia added.
Olalia assured that Filipino medical personnel abroad are among the priority in the COVID-19 vaccine.
“It is important they are included in the priority list, especially they are among the frontliners. Many of our fellow Filipinos were infected with COVID-19 and some also died. So, we are monitoring to ensure their welfare,” he said.
According to Olalia, Saudi Arabia is still the number one destination for Filipino nurses, followed by the United Kingdom and Germany.
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