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Locsin opposes POEA reso suspending work abroad for health workers

/ 03:09 PM April 11, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Secretary Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin Jr. vowed to oppose the resolution passed by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) which suspends the deployment of Filipino health workers to their jobs abroad amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, and requires them to work in the country as a contingency health force in the duration of the crisis.

On Twitter Saturday, Locsin said that while the DFA representative at the POEA governing board did not object to the said resolution, making it unanimous, he as secretary of the department rejects “this abomination.”

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“The fight is not over. We will fight the ban in the IATF. We will fight the ban in Cabinet. We will fight shit for brains. We will never surrender our constitutional right to travel and our contractual right to work where there is need for our work,” he said.

A copy of the resolution was posted by DFA Usec. Brigido Dulay on Twitter, which also tagged Locsin.

In the resolution, the POEA said “(it) is of paramount national interest to ensure that the country shall continue to have, sustain the supply, and prepare sufficient health personnel to meet any further contingencies, especially to replace, substitute or reinforce existing workforce currently employed, deployed or utilized locally.”

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Many took exceptions to this provision, including Locsin who pointed out several violations in the rights of the nurses who were stopped at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) from leaving for their jobs at the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom.

“This violates the Constitution in 3 ways: right to travel, inviolability of contracts, punitive ex-post facto resolution. (Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente is) powerless to help. I’m helping him. HELP!!!” Locsin said.

In its resolution, POEA’s governing board said the deployment of health workers is suspended “until the national state of emergency is lifted and until COVID-19-related travel restrictions are lifted at the destination country.”

British Ambassador Daniel Pruce meanwhile thanked Locsin and DFA undersecretary Dodo Dulay for their efforts and hoped that they can resolve the situation so “brilliant Filipino healthcare workers” can return to their jobs at the NHS.

Health workers covered by the suspension of deployment as indicated in the resolution are the following:

  • Medical doctor/physician
  • Nurse
  • Microbiologist
  • Molecular biologist
  • Medical technologist
  • Clinical analyst
  • Respiratory therapist
  • Pharmacist
  • Laboratory technician
  • X-ray/radiologic technician
  • Nursing assistant/nursing aid
  • Operator of medical equipment
  • Supervisor of health services and personal care
  • Repairman of medical-hospital equipment

There are around 21,000 Filipino frontliners in the U.K., who are working both for the NHS and private hospitals, according to Philippine Ambassador Antonio Lagdameo.

EDV

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

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TAGS: coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, COVID-19 PH, DFA, health workers, NHS, pandemic, POEA, Teddy Boy Locsin Jr., United Kingdom
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