UK, Germany requesting more health workers from the Philippines
Marje Pelayo • February 23, 2021 • 721
MANILA, Philippines – The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has increased the demand for health workers all over the world.
In the Philippines, the national government put in place a deployment cap of 5,000 health workers for 2021 to make sure that the country will have a sufficient number in case the COVID-19 infection worsens.
But the governments of the United Kingdom and Germany appealed to the Philippines to deploy more health workers given that the country is one of the top exporters of this field and expertise.
According to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), there is an ongoing negotiation on this request.
The Philippine government, however, has several conditions before approving the matter.
One is that the requesting countries, in return, should give the Philippines COVID-19 vaccines.
“Ang nire-request ni Secretary Bello ay para sa ating mga OFWs. So ito ang mga OFWs na na-repatriate na dito including yung mga OFWs din na papaalis,” explained DOLE Director for International Labor Affairs Alice Visperas.
The official said there are around 600,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were repatriated and some of them were redeployed.
“Karamihan sa mga bansa ngayon na kumukuha ng workers. Gusto nila may vaccine na yung kukunin nilang workers. Darating din ang panahon baka hindi na sila kukuha pag hindi pa nabibigyan ng vaccine,” Visperas noted.
Another condition is the renegotiation for Labor agreement in favor of OFWs in the said countries.
DOLE said the matter is now on the ministerial level and is, so far, receiving a possible response.
But the Filipino Nurses United seemed offended with the way the government is treating the country’s nurses.
“Sa FNU na turn off kmi, disgusted na parang commodities o export products trato sa amin ng gobyerno,” the group said in a statement.
“Two separate issues iyon. Kung gustong mag-abroad ng nurses karapatan nila iyon. Huwag gamiting trade off. Kung kailangan natin ng bakuna, mag procure,” it added.
The Philippine Nurses Association, on the other hand, supports the government on the matter but as for the number, there should be a careful study first as to how many nurses will be allowed to leave.
“Kung manggagaling yan sa government and merong benefit ang Pilipinas with that I think we should welcome yung idea,” noted PNA President Melbert Reyes.
“But it should make sure sana na may maiiwan dito sa Pilipinas to take care of our people,” he concluded. –MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) confirmed that there are cases of COVID-19 among the country’s younger population.
However, no severe cases of COVID-19 among children have been recorded yet as the disease mostly affects the older age groups.
Though minors are considered low-risk, they still have to get vaccinated, according to a pediatric group.
“Kahit paano tinatamaan pa rin sila. Hindi naman natin masasabi kung sinong bata ang tatamaan at sino ang hindi. At least, protektado sila,” said Dr. Maria Karmela Kasala, spokesperson of the Philippine Pediatric Society.
Kasala said there are vaccines for minors that are under clinical trials in other countries.
“Other vaccine companies are also doing their own trials for these younger children. We have to wait for the results of those trials, at kapag nareview at na-evaluate na ng ating mga vaccine experts itong mga bagong studies sa mga kabataan. Kung nararapat sa ating (nakababatang) populasyon ay gagawan ng paraan para maipasok na sa priority vaccine rollout,” Kasala said.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently allowed the emergency use of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccines for minors aged 12 to 15.
Meanwhile, China has also allowed the use Sinovac’s CoronaVac on children as young as three years old.
As for the Philippines, there is no approval yet from the government to inoculate the younger population with available COVID-19 vaccines.
“Pero wala pang polisiya kung paano natin i-ro-rollout ang mga bakuna para dito sa mga edad na ito,” Kasala said.
She added that clinical trials on COVID-19 vaccines are ongoing around the world, but no results have been published yet.
“Ang ating mga bakuna, ang lahat ay naka-EUA pa sa buong mundo. In normal times, hindi pa iyan papayagang maibenta kasi kailangan ng certificate of product registration, at nakaraan sa clinical trial phase 4,” Kasala explained.
“Hindi na tayo umabot sa Phase 4 dahil nasa emergency pandemic tayo globally,” she said.
MANILA, Philippines—The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has allowed the reopening of gyms, fitness studios, and other indoor non-contact sports venues in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus.
In a statement issued on Friday (June 11), the IATF announced that it has released Resolution No. 120 which allows the reopening of fitness studios, gyms, skating rinks, and racket sports courts at 30% capacity beginning June 16.
“Such venues are strongly encouraged to allow their regular members with recurring monthly subscription who opt not to avail of the services, to suspend their memberships for the duration of their limited opening,” the resolution reads.
The said establishments, however, would still need to secure safety seal certification before reopening. Minimum health standards should also be observed which includes wearing of face masks, strict physical distancing, and proper ventilation. AAC
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday (June 11) confirmed that the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) is allowing senior citizens who have received two doses of vaccine against COVID-19 to leave their homes.
During the DOH regular press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the new policy only covers fully vaccinated senior citizens in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
“Pinapayagan na po ng ating gobyerno na makalabas na ang ating senior citizens sa June 16 na fully vaccinated, iyon pong may dalawang doses ng bakuna dito sa COVID-19,” Vergerie said.
The official advises, however, that despite eased restrictions on the movement of the elderly, they must still observe the minimum health and safety protocols.
“Nanawagan tayo sa mga senior citizen na maari na kayong lumabas pero kailangan lang na nakasuot pa rin kayo ng face mask at face shield. Huwag pupunta sa matataong lugar especially in enclosed spaces,” Vergeire said.
The official stressed that those fully vaccinated senior citizens in areas with higher quarantine restrictions must still stay at home.
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