The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has temporarily suspended the processing and deployment of healthcare workers (HCWs), particularly nurses, as the annual deployment cap of 6,500 has been reached.
“Pursuant to POEA Governing Board Resolution No. 17, Series of 2020 and POEA Advisory No. 79, Series of 2021 on the lifting of the moratorium or temporary suspension on the deployment of nurses, nursing aides and nursing assistants, and increasing the annual deployment cap from 5,000 to 6,500, the Administration hereby announces that the said ceiling has been reached as of date,” POEA head Bernard Olalia said in Advisory No. 144 dated Oct. 26 but was released on Thursday.
“In view of the above, the processing, issuance of overseas employment certificates (OECs) and the deployment of new hires for nurses, nursing aides, and nursing assistants are hereby suspended effective immediately,” he added.
The POEA said HCWs that have their OECs are not covered by the temporary suspension.
“Healthcare workers who were already issued with their corresponding OECs however are allowed to depart for their overseas employment. The suspension shall take effect until a new Resolution has been issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID),” the agency added.
Meanwhile, Olalia said they are awaiting the government’s decision on the deployment cap that will be implemented for next year.
“Still waiting for IATF guidance and Resolution,” he said in a Viber message on Thursday.
During the onset of the coronavirus pandemic last year, the government has set a 5,000 annual deployment cap with newly hired healthcare workers for mission-critical skills.
The ceiling was raised to 6,500 in June this year amid calls for the government to allow more healthcare workers to be deployed overseas. (PNA)