Bello denies PH easing ban on deployment of nurses abroad
MANILA, Philippines — Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Friday belied reports that the Philippine government has eased the overseas deployment ban on Filipino nurses, saying this is “totally untrue.”
In a statement, Bello warned the public that any overseas deployment of nurses is “deemed illegal” unless expressly authorized by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POAE).
“Our attention was called on reports that the government has relaxed the restrictions on the deployment of nurses abroad,” the labor chief said. “This is totally untrue. The ban imposed on the deployment of nurses stays.”
Bello reiterated that the overseas deployment ban on nurses is pursuant to the decision of the government’s COVID-19 task force “to ensure that the country’s health care requirements are fully met.”
“This policy decision was implemented by the [POEA] through its Governing Board Resolution No. 9 adopted in April,” he added.
The POEA had temporarily suspended the deployment of workers abroad so they could help the country in fighting the pandemic.
The IATF, meanwhile, has recommended that healthcare workers with existing contracts be allowed to return to their jobs abroad.
Nurses and health workers with perfected employment contracts overseas may leave the Philippines once the proposal is approved by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The government will only lift the deployment ban on healthcare workers abroad once there is no more threat of the coronavirus in countries they would be deployed to, Malacañang had earlier said.
As of August 13, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines has reached 147,526. Of the number, 70,387 have recovered while 2,426 have succumbed to the disease.
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