Brunei seeks exemption from PH health workers deployment limit | Inquirer News
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Brunei seeks exemption from PH health workers deployment limit

/ 12:33 PM August 29, 2021

nurse health care

Filipino nurse Marciana Erispe tends to a mother inside the maternity ward of the government-run Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Manila, Philippines, September 18, 2020. (REUTERS)

MANILA, Philippines — The Brunei government sought an exemption from the Philippines’ deployment cap on health workers, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) disclosed on Sunday.

“There are two hospitals here, one government hospital and one private hospital. The salary is comparable to the salary of nurses in Singapore. Nurses receive high take-home pay because of the free accommodation and transportation. If they render overtime work, they earn as much as 2,000 Brunei Dollars per month,” Labor Attache Melissa Mendizabal of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Brunei Darussalam said in a statement.

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One Brunei dollar is equivalent to P37.00.

Currently, the Philippines’ deployment ceiling for newly hired healthcare workers abroad is at 6,500. Around 900 slots are left, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration said last week.

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According to Merdizabal, there is a demand for some 200 nurses and 30 doctors in Brunei.

The official said that the Brunei government submitted another request for exemption in July this year.

Aside from employment in the healthcare industry, about 1,000 jobs in the oil and gas and household service sectors are available for Filipino workers.

“Prior to our current situation, we have processed job orders for domestic workers. On top of that are the nurses then those in the oil and gas industry. Most of the job orders that we have processed are in those sectors,” Merdizabal explained.

Engineers and architects, among other workers in the oil and gas sector, receive around 5,000 to 10,000 Brunei dollars monthly.

On top of these, semi-skilled workers, such as car technicians, are likewise in demand.

“The Brunei government is trying to implement localization, meaning they want to employ the locals here. For example are the shop assistants. But when it comes to supervisory and managerial roles, they give these positions to our Filipino workers,” the labor attache pointed out.

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“Our kababayans will always be the first choice among migrant workers to work here. They prefer Filipino workers, and some employers are very proud of our OFWs because of their industry. At the moment, we are in semi lockdown, but once we go back to normal, almost all sectors want to hire our OFWs,” added Merdizabal.

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To date, around 20,000 overseas Filipino workers are in Brunei.

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