POEA temporarily halts medical workers’ deployment; cap reached


NURSES, nursing aides and nursing assistants will now have to wait until next year to work abroad.

This after the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) temporarily suspended their deployment as the 6,500 deployment cap for health-care workers (HCW) this year was finally exhausted last month.

“The processing, issuance of overseas employment certificates [OEC] and the deployment of new hires for nurses, nursing aides, and nursing assistants are hereby suspended effective immediately,” POEA Administrator Bernard P. Olalia said in an Advisory 144, Series of 2021, issued recently.

He said the suspension will not affect HCWs who were already issued their OEC prior to the issuance of Advisory 144.

An OEC is a documentary proof a overseas Filipino worker (OFW) must get from POEA before they could work abroad.

POEA imposed a 5,000 deployment cap for HCWs in January, to ensure the country will have a sufficient pool of workers to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Only HCWs deployed to the United Kingdom as well as those covered by a government-to-government hiring arrangement were exempted from the policy.

The POEA later increased the cap to 6,500 upon the appeal of HCW groups.

In a Viber message, Olalia said they are still awaiting guidance from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) on whether the 5,000 or 6,500 deployment cap will take effect next year.

He said the deployment suspension will remain in effect until IATF issues the necessary resolution to address this matter.

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