MANILA – The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) will recommend to the national government for additional exemptions to the existing overseas deployment cap on healthcare workers (HCWs).
“We have a recommendation to the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases). We are studying our recommendation for an increase in the (deployment) cap. Apart from the increase in cap, we also have a recommendation, if possible, expand the exemption for us to deploy more workers,” POEA chief Bernard Olalia said in a Laging Handa presser on Tuesday.
This, as the country temporarily suspended the deployment of HCWs abroad after the 5,000-deployment cap was reached on June 1.
Currently, the deployment of nurses to the United Kingdom is allowed after the government granted its request to be exempted from the deployment limit.
Germany is also requesting an exemption from the measure but this has yet to be acted upon by the government.
Also exempted from the deployment are those covered by a government-to-government hiring process.
Olalia, meanwhile, said they are conducting meetings with various agencies regarding the issue.
“We are part of the Technical Working Group, with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), Department of Health (DOH), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), we are holding meetings, gathering data and we are working on it,” Olalia added.
He said they may consider asking for an increase in the cap once the PRC allows the conduct of nursing board examinations this year.
“Once the exams are allowed and the supply has increased, we may recommend for an increase the 5,000 cap,” the POEA administrator added.
The deployment cap was implemented to ensure that the country has a sufficient number of HCWs amid the coronavirus pandemic. (PNA)