Duterte given options on health workers’ plea to lift ban
MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has presented options to President Rodrigo Duterte on handling a plea to lift an overseas deployment ban on health-care workers.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the IATF was coordinating with the Office of the President on how to address the plight of health-care workers who wish to leave for jobs abroad.
“We submitted options to the President. In our letter to the President, we included how many nurses were affected and how many nurses will benefit if we extend and allow those who signed contracts as of, let’s say, beyond March,” Nograles said.
“We gave options to the President, so let’s just wait as to what his decision will be on this,” he said.
The country first imposed an overseas deployment ban on health-care workers in April at the height of lockdowns to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.
Malacañang said the prohibition was meant to ensure that the country will have a steady manpower of health-care workers as it battles the pandemic.
The Palace added that the government wanted to protect them from getting sick with COVID-19 in other countries with a higher incidence of the illness.
Health-care workers with verified overseas employment contracts as of March 8 and other required documents were allowed to fly out of the country.
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