DOH not consulted about DOLE request for vaccines from UK, Germany – Vergeire
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday it was not consulted by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) about the latter’s request for Covid-19 vaccines from the United Kingdom and Germany for healthcare workers to be deployed in the two countries.
“We were not consulted. We are not even aware of this kind of exchange between our government and the other governments for this matter,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online press briefing.
“We don’t have information yet about this. And I think there will be discussions about this, and it has to be consulted with the IATF in case there are plans or proposals like this that have to be done because of the vaccines. The IATF should decide on this,” she said, speaking partly in Filipino.
The IATF is the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
On Monday, International Labor Affairs Bureau Director Alice Visperas said that Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III was considering lifting the cap on the deployment of healthcare workers to the UK and Germany if the requests made by the Philippine government would be met.
According to Visperas, among these requests are the renewal of the 2002 and 2003 bilateral labor agreements between the UK and the Philippines, as well as the provision of vaccines from the UK and Germany for overseas Filipino workers.
On Wednesday, the DOLE clarified that the vaccines it was requesting would be given to healthcare workers who would be deployed in the two countries to ensure their safety.
The UK and Germany earlier sought an exemption from the deployment limit of Filipino nurses and other healthcare workers, with Germany hoping to hire some 15,000 Filipino medical personnel.
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