PAMET seeks review of HCW deployment cap in US

The biggest group of medical technologists in the US is seeking a review by Philippine officials of the cap on the deployment of health care workers (HCW) to America, the labor department reported yesterday.

Labor Attaché Angela Librado Trinidad of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Washington D.C. said the Philippine Association of Medical Technologists (PAMET) made the request in light of the many opportunities in the United States of America.

Trinidad told a virtual forum that PAMET cited an estimated demand for 110,000 medical technologists in USA.

“We recently met with PAMET, which has chapters all over the US, to discuss their concern as their profession is included in the deployment cap. They want to know if the limit can be relaxed because they are interested in providing opportunities to their fellow medical technologists,” said Trinidad.

She said that the government respects the right of workers to labor mobility, but at the same time explained that the deployment limit was imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to make sure that the Philippines does not run out of medical professionals amid the persisting COVID-19 pandemic.

The Labor official said most of the job orders that the POLO receive are those in the healthcare industry. It is projected that in the next few years about 2.5 million nurses are needed due to a large number of retiring nurses in USA, she added.

In its jurisdiction, POLO Washington D.C. records 514,000 documented Filipino migrant workers in the eastern part of USA and 12,000 workers in Caribbean islands, with most of them located in the Cayman Islands.

Most of the job orders that the POLO receive in the eastern region are for healthcare workers while those in the Caribbean Islands are for service and tourism industry workers.

During the height of the pandemic, Trinidad said that over 2,000 OFWs have availed of the one-time P10,000 assistance under the Abot-Kamay ang Pagtulong and most of those who availed are the Filipino workers in the Caribbean.

In celebration of Philippine Independence Day and Migrant Workers’ Day, meanwhile, Labor Attaché Trinidad shared that the POLO has been conducting one-stop shop virtual consultation with OFWs on PagIbig, PhilHealth, and SSS benefits and concerns. The online sessions will be conducted on Saturdays and Sundays in the coming weeks.

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