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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday appealed to medical professionals to stay and serve the country first.

Duterte issued the statement in a public address despite allowing health workers with complete documents as of August 31 to leave for work abroad.

“I do not have anything against you but sana ‘yung iba naman will have the spirit and the fervor to serve the Filipino people because we also need help and we have a crisis also to deal with,” according to the chief executive.

“Hindi ko minamaliit, nothing at all, nothing at all. I have but respect for all of you. But for those who want to go out, puwede na ho. Pero naiwan naman, sana tagal-tagalan na lang muna ninyo until after this Covid-19 will pass. It will come to pass. Sigurado ako,” he added.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases previously only allowed nurses and healthcare workers who signed contracts with employers abroad as of March 8 to work abroad.

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