PH 'running out' of nurses, healthcare workers to deploy abroad, says Bello

Published May 26, 2021, 3:05 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III says the Philippines is “running out” of nurses and healthcare workers to deploy abroad.

(Kevin Tristan Espiritu / The Medical City / File photo /MANILA BULLETIN)

Bello mentioned this during a virtual press briefing Wednesday, May 26, while discussing the request of Germany to have the European country exempted from the Philippines’ annual deployment cap of 5,000 as far as these types of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are concerned.

“Whether we will allow exemption or not is still under study. [But in] my own I am not prepared to give another exemption,” he said.

“Kasi yung findings ng technical working group (TWG), all the while akala ko may oversupply tayo. Yun pala kinakapos na rin tayo (All the while I thought we had an oversupply, but the findings of the TWG says there is a scarcity). [Their] assessment is we are already running out of nurses and healthcare workers,” he said.

Bello said the United Kingdom (UK) was earlier granted an exemption by the Philippine government.

“The general policy is there is a cap of 5,000 per year, pero exempted ang UK upon their request. Na-exempt sila from the deployment cap (the UK was granted an exemption upon their request).”

It was during another virtual presser in late February when the DOLE chief claimed that there was an “oversupply” of Filipino nurses.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) imposed the deployment cap as a way to make sure that the Philippines would still have an ample supply of nurses for the local healthcare system especially as it continues to grapple with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.