DMW, DOLE reject deployment cap on Filipino healthcare workers

frontline healthcare workers

FILE PHOTO: Healthcare workers talk as they conduct targeted mass testing among residents at Sampaloc district in Manila on May 8, 2020. INQUIRER FILES

MANILA, Philippines — The Departments of Migrant Workers (DMW) and Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Wednesday objected to implementing a deployment cap on healthcare workers who wish to work abroad.

DMW Secretary Susan Ople said during the weekly Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum that she does not think the government can place boundaries and limit Filipinos from practicing their chosen profession.

“Sa aking personal opinion as a labor advocate, profession ‘yan eh, you cannot naman prevent a Filipino from practicing his profession and then lalagyan mo ng boundaries na hanggang dito ka lang,” Ople said.

(In my opinion, as a labor advocate, that’s a profession, you can’t prevent a Filipino from practicing his profession and then set boundaries that limit them.)

“Ilang taon nilang pinaghirapan na makakuha ng degree at magkaroon specialization,” she also pointed out.

(For several years, they worked hard to get a degree and have a specialization.)

But Ople said she is willing to discuss it with the incoming health secretary, who is yet to be named by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

“So the prudent thing for me to do is really wait kung sino ang (who the) Health Secretary (is). So we can discuss this,” she said.

DOLE Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma, for his part, agreed that setting a cap on the overseas deployment of nurses is not a solution.

Instead, he noted that the government should look for alternatives to improve the welfare of nurses in the country and make working overseas optional.

“Yung cap sa tingin namin ni Sec. Toots, hindi ‘yun solusyon eh, ‘yung limitasyon,” he said.

(Sec. Toots and I agree that the cap or the limitation is not the solution.)

“Dapat siguro tignan din namin paano ba pabubutihin ang kalagayan mga nurses and healthcare workers dito sa ating bansa, para, again, maging option lang ‘yun,” he added.

(Maybe we should also look at improving the situation of nurses and healthcare workers here in our country so that, again, that will be just an option.)

Currently, the deployment cap for healthcare workers is 7,500.


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