Lagman: Ban overseas deployment of Filipino medics, nurses for now
MANILA, Philippines — Amid rising confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, a lawmaker on Saturday called for the temporary ban on the deployment of Filipino medics and nurses overseas.
Albay (1st Dist.) Rep. Edcel Lagman, however, said such a ban must be coupled with a “hefty increase” in the salaries and allowances, including hazard pay, of medical frontline personnel in both public and private health facilities.
“Patriotism and self-protection in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic demand the temporary ban on overseas deployment of Filipino healthcare professionals and workers like physicians, nurses, and laboratory technicians,” Lagman said in a statement.
According to Lagman, there were reports that the United States plans to “relax the entry” of medical professionals to lure them into working in America, which has been grappling in its fight against COVID-19.
“With the Philippines’ unabated escalation of the number of persons under investigation (PUIs), persons under monitoring (PUMs), and persons confirmed positive for the novel coronavirus, we need all available medical professionals and healthcare workers to assist in the campaign against the viral menace,” Lagman noted.
As of March 27, the Philippines recorded 803 people infected with COVID-19. This includes 54 fatalities and 31 recoveries, according to the Department of Health.
The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Worldwide, the virus already infected more than 596, 835 people and killed more than 27,350 as of March 28. On the other hand, over 133,350 people have recovered so far from the disease.
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