The government is slowing down the deployment of Filipino nurses in Europe particularly the United Kingdom and Germany due to the threat of a new strain of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III said instead of suspending deployment, they decided to slow the sending of medical workers to the host countries.
“In the UK, it’s risky at this time, and also in Germany. We are not suspending (deployment), we’re just slowing it down,” he said in a radio interview on Saturday.
The DOLE chief said in case they allow the sending of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to the country where they will be employed, the worker has to sign a waiver, that he/she knows the risk they are taking.
“We make sure that before they will be deployed, they have to sign a waiver, acknowledging that they know what they are getting into, the risks in the country where they are going and they will not blame us. It has to be a waiver,” he said.
It was reported that a new strain of the Covid-19 was found in the UK.
The government earlier banned the sending of medical sector workers to ensure that the country has an adequate number of health care workers as the need arises due to Covid-19.
Early this month, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has lifted the temporary ban on the deployment of nurses.
Through a Governing Board Resolution, it has allowed newly hired nurses, nursing aides, and nursing assistants to work abroad.
It ordered that 5,000 healthcare workers (HCWs) be sent overseas every year starting early next year.
The resolution also allowed the hiring of HCWs through government-to-government negotiations under bilateral agreements. (PNA)