The Philippines, through the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), has signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Kingdom (UK) to further improve the protection the rights of Filipino healthcare workers.
In a statement, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the agreement would enhance the protection mechanism for Filipino healthcare professionals in the areas of recruitment, policy development, and education and training, among others.
He said ir will also help promote the welfare of Filipino workers in accordance with the laws and regulations of the Philippines and the UK and will “further bolster the good ties” between the two governments
According to Bello, the partnership between the two countries “comes at a very crucial time,” especially with the growing demand for healthcare professionals to help manage and cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This global health crisis has affected both labor sending countries such as the Philippines and host countries like the United Kingdom. The Philippines had to temporarily suspend the deployment of healthcare workers to other countries. This was followed by a deployment cap in order for us to manage our own battle against the pandemic,” Bello said.
“With the British government’s request for exemption from the deployment quota, the Philippine government assessed its own need for healthcare workers vis a vis the need of other countries,” he added.
The DOLE chief noted that the government is ready to deploy Filipino healthcare workers to the UK, as well as to other counties.
“We acknowledged it was also our duty to help other countries in their fight against the pandemic as a member of the community of nations. Thus, the Philippine government acceded to the request, with a colatilla that the healthcare professionals to be deployed will be further protected through a bilateral labor agreement,” he said.