The Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) on Saturday, June 19, lauded the government’s decision to raise the annual deployment ceiling for newly hired health workers to 6,500 from the previous 5,000.
In an interview with TeleRadyo, PNA President Melbert Reyes said their group opposed the deployment ban because it is within the right of health workers to seek better opportunities abroad.
“It’s good news for us because at least there are health workers who will be deployed abroad,” Reyes said in Filipino.
“We cannot deprive our nurses [of] looking for better opportunities especially since they can’t find those here in the Philippines,” he added.
Reyes also stressed that many health workers want to remain in the country to work if given better opportunities.
“It seems that our nurses are tired of waiting for appreciation from the government and the public,” he added.
Citing data from the Department of Health (DOH), Reyes said “the gap between employment is big” and there are nearly 100,000 positions to be filled in government and private hospitals but only very few are applying.
“There are many factors. Do they offer security of tenure? Many nurses do not have the security of tenure, only working under job orders and contracts. Why can’t we give permanent positions to them? So no one would really accept that.”
On June 18, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) increased the annual deployment cap of the new-hire health workers for Mission Critical Skills (MCS) to 6,500.