While the Philippine government has allowed all Filipino health care workers (HCWs) to leave the county for work overseas, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said that the deployment of HCWs to countries with imposed travel restrictions is still prohibited.
POEA said those HCWs with perfected and signed contracts as of August 31, 2020 are now allowed to leave. The cut-off date was extended from March 8 to August 31 upon the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
In Advisory No. 47-B Series of 2020, the POEA said the deployment of new hire HCWs who have perfected and signed contracts as of the new date and “have secured an overseas employment certificates (OECs) as their exit permits can now report to their employers overseas.”
POEA said that new hire health care workers refer to newly hired HCWs who are direct hires, recruitment agency hires, including POEA Government Placement Branch hires who were already accepted under the hiring program of host countries.
Meanwhile, POEA said that all “Balik-Manggagawa” or returning health workers with OEC exemption certificates are also allowed to leave the country. Also included are those seafarers who were previously hired as doctors and nurses onboard, and will be deployed by the same licensed manning agency.
“The deployment of HCWs will remain under a strict observance of prescribed quarantine protocols, social distancing measures, as well as in the departure and immigration formalities in the Philippines, in transit counties, and in countries of work destination,” POEA said.
However, the agency reiterated that outbound passengers with visas that are not documented through POEA regulations such as US J1 visa, permanent residents, immigrants or dual citizens of other countries are “excluded from the temporary deployment suspension.”