PH asks UK and Germany for COVID-19 vaccines, offers quid pro quo
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is requesting the United Kingdom and Germany to provide the Philippines with Covid-19 vaccines in exchange for exemption from the 5,000 per year limit on deployment of Filipino nurses and other health care workers.
International Labor Affairs Bureau Director Alice Visperas said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has spoken with the UK ambassador to the Philippines regarding the deal.
Visperas said among the requests made by Bello to the UK government in exchange for the exemption on the deployment cap are the renewal of the 2002 and 2003 bilateral labor agreements between the UK and the Philippines, as well as the provision of vaccines.
“Pangalawa, ‘yung hiling ni Secretary Bello na vaccine mula sa kanilang gobyerno ay mabigyan tayo dito sa Pilipinas lalong-lalo na para sa ating mga OFWs (overseas Filipino workers),” she said in an online media forum on Monday as she enumerated the requests made by the Labor Secretary.
(The second request of Secretary Bello is the provision of vaccines from the UK government to the Philippines, especially for OFWs.)
She added that the DOLE had requested the same from Germany.
According to Visperas, Bello is considering exempting the two countries from the deployment cap if they will agree to the conditions set by the Philippine government.
She said that if the UK and Germany would grant the request of DOLE, the vaccines would go to OFWs who were already repatriated and those who are departing for jobs abroad.
Visperas also said no specific number of doses for the vaccines was mentioned, but added that the jabs may benefit around 600,000 OFWs since this is the number of overseas workers who were already repatriated or are again planning to leave the country.
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