POEA eyes review of 5,000-cap on deployment of healthcare workers

Published December 18, 2020, 7:32 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) on Friday said that the 5,000-cap on the deployment of healthcare workers (HCWs) may undergo review and assessment.  

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (MANILA BULLETIN)

During the “Laging Handa” public briefing, POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia said the said policy will be assessed and might be reviewed following its implementation next year.

“Tayo ay magbibigay ng assessment at magbibigay ng recommendation sa IATF [Inter-Agency Task Force] na kung saan pwedeng humiling tayo na maging flexible yung 5,000 at tayo ay magda-dagdag depende sa sitwasyon (We will give an assessment and recommendation to the IATF if it’s possible to make the 5,000 cap flexible and we might add depending on the situation),” Olalia said.

Olalia said that the 5,000-cap on the deployment of HCWs will be implemented starting January 1, 2021. He noted that this might be adjusted based on the current healthcare needs of the country.

Earlier, POEA said that the number of healthcare workers to be deployed abroad will be limited to 5,000 in a year to ensure that the healthcare services in the country will not be compromised.

POEA, Olalia said, will assess if the cap can be increased. “We will recommend the findings to the IATF after the assessment,” he added.

Last month, President Duterte directed the lifting of the deployment ban on HCWs – including nurses and other medical workers.

Meanwhile, Olalia noted that more and more countries are opening up to accept Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

He noted that the “traditional labor markets” like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, United Kingdom and Germany are opening up for overseas employment – especially for healthcare workers (HCWs) such as nurses and factory workers.