Binay to IATF, POEA: Recall deployment ban on healthcare workers
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Nancy Binay on Thursday urged the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to recall the deployment ban on healthcare workers, saying that the government has “no right” to prevent them from going abroad.
“”For healthcare workers, the struggle to survive is real in the midst of risks and trying to feed a family,” Binay said in a statement.
“Sana maunawaan din ng POEA at ng IATF ang kalagayan ng ating mga nurse na ‘di lang naman sila full-time sa ospital. Sa totoo lang, mas mabigat ang pressure kung paano maitatawid ang kanilang mga pamilya sa gitna ng pandemya,” she added.
(I hope that the POEA and IATF would understand the plight of our nurses who are not even working full time in hospitals. In reality, the pressure is intense on how they will strive for their families amid the pandemic.)
The current deployment ban, according to Binay, “hostages” the health workers’ chance to have a decent work-life balance and give their families a future.
Previously, Palace spokesman Harry Roque said that while the deployment ban stays, healthcare workers who already have secured overseas employment contracts and travel documents before March 8 may leave the country to work abroad.
It was earlier this year that the POEA suspended the deployment of doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers overseas to preserve human resources in battling COVID-19 in the country.
But Binay said that should the POEA decides to continue the ban, it must ensure that healthcare workers be given competitive compensation.
The senator added that the Philippines would lack healthcare workers should the ban be lifted, as she cited the Department of Health data from 2017.
According to the data, there are over 750,000 licensed medical professionals in the country, of which 204,437 are active in the health sector. The remaining 500,000 licensed medical professionals are not practicing their craft, Binay said.
“Kung hindi kaya ng pamahalaan na mabigyan ng trabaho at sapat na benepisyo ang ating mga healthcare workers, hindi naman ata tama na pagkaitan natin sila ng pagkakataon para mabigyan ng magandang buhay ang kanilang pamilya,” she said.
(If the government cannot give them jobs and sufficient benefits, I think it’s not right to deprive them of the opportunity of providing a better life for their families.)
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