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Nurses appeal lifting of deployment ban

Nurses in the country are appealing to the government to lift the deployment ban since many of them remain unemployed.


In an interview with CNN Philippines Thursday (Aug. 20), Filipino Nurses United president Maristella Abenojar said there is no reason why the government should ban nurses from being deployed abroad.

Abonejar is referring to resolution of the governing board of Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) chaired by Labor Sec. Silvestre Bello III which imposes a total ban in the deployment of healthcare workers including nurses.

Previously, exemptions were made to those who have completed their documentation by March 8.

“Meron tayong rough estimate na 200,000 to 240,000 na unemployed or underemployed na mga nurses (we have a rough estimate of between 200,000 to 240,000 unemployed or underemployed nurses),” Abenojar said as she cited government figures.

“Wala pong karapatan ang ating pamahalan na pilitin ang ating mga healthcare workers katulad ng mga nurses na manatili sa bansa kung meron naman silang pagkakataon para po sa oportunidad sa labas ng bansa na maiahon sa kahirapan ang kani-kanilang mga pamilya (The government has no right to force healthcare workers including nurses to stay if there is an opportunity to work abroad and uplift the lives of their families),” she stressed.

Abonejar said many of the nurses who have sought work abroad have also heeded the call of government to work in hospitals and have applied to the emergency hiring of the Department of Health (DOH) which announced slots for around 10,000 nurses.

“Nag-apply na rin po sila sa emergency hiring pero hindi na po open ang Department of Health para dito (They applied for the emergency hiring but the DOH has already stopped accepting),” she lamented.

For his part, Bello said during an interview over CNN Philippines on Thursday that the board resolution was made due to concerns that the country will have a shortage of needed nurses during the pandemic caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“Worried yung IATF if we allow the deployment baka mawalan tayo ng experienced nurses (The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases that if the nurses are deployed we might lose

Bello assured nurses that he will raise their appeal before the IATF during their meeting this Thursday afternoon.

“I am confident na pagbibigyan sila (that their appeals will be granted),” the secretary said.

“We need them and we also know how difficult they are going through. We share their miseries,” he also said.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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