1,200 more health workers can go abroad with Duterte blessing: Labor chief

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 22 2020 11:21 AM

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A maximum of 1,200 health workers can now go abroad after President Rodrigo Duterte approved further exceptions from an overseas deployment suspension, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Tuesday. 

Duterte this week permitted health professionals with complete overseas employment documents as of Aug. 31, 2020 to leave the country. 

Previously, only those with existing employment contracts as of March 8, 2020 were allowed to work abroad as the Philippines, a key exporter of nurses and other medical workers, sought to keep a reserve force in its battle against the pandemic.
 
Health workers need the following to leave the country, said Bello: verified contract of employment, visa, overseas employment certificate, and pre-departure orientation seminar certificate.

To encourage medical workers to stay in the country, Bello said he has asked Health Secretary Francisco Duque to study asking Congress to pass a law raising their salary, which in some hospitals is as low as P9,000 to P18,000 a month. 

"Paano ka naman magtatrabaho, sa halip na ikaw ang magsuweldo, ikaw pa ang nagbabayad in the guise of training fee?" he said. 

(How will you work when instead of receiving a salary, you are even asked to pay in the guise of training fee?)

ANC, Sept. 22, 2020