Marcos to raise deployment cap of nurses abroad

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 1) — President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. said Thursday he will increase the number of Filipino nurses to be deployed abroad as his administration tries to resolve issues faced by the profession in the country.

Marcos added that his administration will also strive to improve domestic opportunities for nurses.

"As we work hard to improve the state of our health care system at home, let us join hands to maintain our country's position as the gold standard when it comes to providing health care workers to hospitals and health facilities globally," the chief executive said during the 100th anniversary of the Philippine Nurses Association.

The government has set a 7,500 cap on the deployment of healthcare workers overseas. However, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration said the figure has yet to be reached, with only over 2,000 healthcare workers deployed abroad from January to May this year.

Marcos also vowed to work with Congress for the passage of the Philippine Nursing Practice Act, which seeks to institute reforms through better career prospects and education for nurses.

The measure was already approved on third and final reading at the House of Representatives. At the Senate, a similar measure is pending at the committee level.

"As part of our goal to raise the profile and improve the working condition of nurses, we seek to address the disparity in salaries between nurses in government hospitals with those in the private sector," said Marcos.

The President pointed out that the government has so far released ₱25.82 billion worth of benefits to healthcare workers, including hazard pay, COVID-19 sickness and death compensation, meals, accommodation and transportation allowances, life insurance, special risk allowance, and the ONE COVID-19 allowance.

"Sa palagay ko kulang pa 'yan eh. Medyo hirap tayo sa pondo ngayon, kaya't sa ngayon ganyan lang muna," said Marcos.

[Translation: I think that's not enough. We are still lacking funds, so that's what we can give for now.]