DOH not consulted on proposal to deploy healthcare workers in UK, Germany in exchange for COVID-19 vaccines

Published February 25, 2021, 1:00 AM

by Analou de Vera

The Department of Health (DOH) said it was not consulted on the plan of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to send healthcare workers to the United Kingdom and Germany in exchange for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines. 

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire

“We were not consulted. We are not even aware of this kind of exchange between our government and the other governments for this matter,” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Wednesday, Feb. 24. 

Vergeire said the government’s task force for COVID-19 should be apprised of such plan or proposal.

“Dapat idulog sa IATF kung sakaling may mga ganitong plano or proposal na kailangan gawin because of vaccines (It should be referred to the IATF in case there are such plans or proposals that need to be made because of vaccines). So, the IATF should decide on this,” said Vergeire. 

In a Reuters report on Tuesday, Feb. 23, it said that the country “was open to lifting the cap in exchange for vaccines from Britain and Germany, which it would use to inoculate outbound workers and hundreds of thousands of Filipino repatriates,” quoting DOLE International Labor Affairs Bureau Director Alice Visperas.

“We are considering the request to lift the deployment cap, subject to agreement,” Visperas told Reuters.