DOLE awaits PRRD nod on lifting of med workers’ deployment ban

MANILA, Nov 12 (Mabuhay) — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is waiting for President Rodrigo Duterte’s approval on lifting the temporary ban on the deployment of nurses and other medical workers.

“The IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) has approved our proposal lifting the temporary suspension of deployment of nurses and other medical workers. But it is still subject to the President’s approval. We are expecting the decision of the president anytime this week,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a virtual forum Wednesday.

Bello said the number of professionals from the health sector that will be allowed to leave annually is 5,000.

“There are many provisions on the resolution lifting the suspension of deployment, we will have a cap. Meaning we can only deploy at most 5,000 nurses or medical workers. Beyond that, we will no longer deploy. Only 5,000 every year. Although it’s still subject to further assessment,” he added.

He also assured the medical professionals that once the deployment ban has been lifted, their documents would be processed immediately.

“Once the president approves the recommendation, we assured them we will facilitate the processing of their papers. POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration) will be given instruction to facilitate the processing,” he added.

Asked if there will be new guidelines, Bello said, “There is no need for guidelines. But if POEA wishes to facilitate processing further, they can do that.”

He reported that less than 900 nurses were deployed in March when the government allowed those who have complete papers as of March 8 while some 600 nurses were able to leave after the government extended the cut-off to August 31.

The government has implemented a temporary suspension on the deployment of nurses to ensure that the country will have enough medical workers, in case the coronavirus disease situation worsens. (MNS)

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