Business chamber: More Filipino HCWs needed in Germany


The German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI) is pushing for the lifting of the deployment cap for Filipino health-care workers (HCW) in Germany amid the high demand.

In a news statement issued on Tuesday, the foreign business group said that the 6,500-deployment cap for Filipino HCWs has been reached already.

GPCCI explained that the European country needs about 50,000 HCWs, noting that the Philippines has 2,000 HCWs waiting for deployment.

“After reaching the extended cap again, and the introduction of a new batch of 5,000 licensed nurses in July, we appeal that the Philippine government should review the current deployment ban. Many of the HCWs in our business community have signed a working contract and the employers are waiting,” GPCCI President Stefan Schmitz said.

The Department of Labor and Employment is seeking to increase the deployment cap for HCWs by another 1,500 slots or a total of 8,000 this year. Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said that the 6,500 slots were already maximized this month.

The German chamber said that the deployment cap prevents Filipino HCWs from getting their assignments abroad despite exerting “effort, time and costs” to meet the standards of the foreign employers.

“The appropriate skills and qualifications of Filipino health-care workers remain to be the important interest of Germany,” GPCCI Deputy Executive Director Charlotte Bandelow said. “The Chamber has been an important avenue on these discussions in the past several months and we look forward to continuing the dialogue with the relevant stakeholders.”

Lifting the deployment cap is seen to bode well for the Philippine economy. GPCCI said it would boost remittances and employment of Filipino HCWs.

The business group noted that Germany contributed 500 million EUR in remittances to the Philippines last year, out of 28.2 billion EUR from 12 million overseas Filipino workers.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas recently reported that personal remittances from overseas Filipinos rose by 6.6 percent to $13.68 billion in the first five months from $12.835 billion year-on-year.

In a recent interview with the BusinessMirror, Schmitz stressed that imposing the strictest form of community quarantine will have an unfavorable impact on the economy, including the foreign direct investments. The government placed Metro Manila under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from August 6 to 20 amid the threat of Covid-19 Delta variant.

“While we understand that there is a significant rise in the Delta variant transmission, we believe that strict measures to contain any variant of Covid-19 are already in place,” he said, noting that another ECQ will hurt employment.

Schmitz called for a speedy vaccination rollout in the country to ease restrictions.

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