MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said Tuesday (June 8) that Filipino health workers who have existing contracts abroad are still allowed to leave the country.
During Tuesday’s Laging Handa public briefing, POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia clarified that the country is not barring healthcare workers from leaving as long as they have an active job abroad.
This was after the government announced that the 5,000 cap for Filipino nurses deployed abroad has been reached.
This means, there will be no new deployment of healthcare workers abroad amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the agency will no longer issue new overseas employment certificates (OEC) for Filipino healthcare workers until the end of the year.
“Noon pong June 1, 2021, naabot na po natin ang 5,000 [na cap] dahil binibilang po natin ang na-i-issue na Overseas Employment Certificate,” Olalia said.
“Exempted po rito [sa 5,000 cap] ang mga returning workers dahil mayroon silang existing contracts at may babalikan silang employment,” he clarified.
Olalia added that workers set for deployment to the United Kingdom are allowed to leave as well as those hired under government-to-government procedures in fulfilment of the government’s obligation under bilateral agreement.
Meanwhile, Olalia said there is an existing temporary deployment ban to Myanmar due to the ongoing civil unrest there.
However, only those with existing contract or returning OFWs to Myanmar will be allowed to leave.
“May kaunting kaguluhan sa Myanmar ngayon kaya ang POEA Governing Board po ay nagpatupad at nagpalabas ng isang board resolution kung saan nakalagay po doon na level 2 ang state of alertness doon sa nasabing bansa,” he noted.
“Kaya bawal po ngayon ang mga new hires. Ang pinapayagan lang nating ma-deploy sa Myanmar ay ang mga balik manggagawa natin. Mga direct hires at agency hires na bago po ay hindi papayagan dahil alert level 2 po ngayon ang bansang Myanmar,” Olalia said.