MANILA – The country is likely to reach the limit on the deployment of health care workers (HCWs) abroad on the second quarter of the year, the Philippines Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) reported on Wednesday.
POEA chief Bernard Olalia said it is very likely that the limit on the sending of Filipino medical workers will be achieved in the next three months since almost 3,000 workers have been deployed from January to February.
“Our projection is by the second quarter, we will be able to reach the ceiling of 5,000 and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has to come up with a recommendation if we will be allowed to deploy above the ceiling of 5,000 HCWs,” he said in a virtual forum.
Olalia added that they continue to process the deployment of those who were directly hired under government to government hiring schemes and those hired by recruitment agencies.
“At this time, we are not preventing the processing of deployment. It means that we allow the processing of direct hires, government to government hires, and agency hires to deploy our HCWs. But, if we reached the ceiling of 5,000, issuance of OEC (overseas employment certificate) will automatically stop until there are clear guidelines for the processing to continue,” he added.
He reported that almost 99 percent of those deployed are nurses.
Olalia said the POEA, the Department of Labor and Employment, the Professional Regulation Commission, and the Department of Health are conducting meetings to come up with a recommendation to the IATF on whether there is a need to increase the deployment cap.
Last year, the government imposed a limit on the deployment of HCWs to ensure that the country has an adequate number of medical workers as part of pandemic response efforts. (PNA)