Gov’t allows newly-hired OFWs to leave for abroad, but not health professionals

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 14) — The national government has permitted newly-hired overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to leave for abroad, but not healthcare professionals who are covered by the deployment ban, the Palace said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that OFWs are now allowed to be deployed abroad, including those who do not have an existing contract due to new employment, so long as they finish processing their documents.

These OFWs will be allowed to leave the country upon the execution of a declaration signifying their knowledge and understanding of the risks involved in flying abroad, he added.

However, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration's (POEA) ban on healthcare professionals is still in effect, according to Roque.

“Land-based or sea-based OFWs ay papayagan pong umalis para sa abroad," he said. "Hindi po kasama dito ang mga health professionals na kasama sa deployment ban na inisyu ng POEA.”

[Translation: Land-based or sea-based OFWs will be allowed to leave for other countries. This does not include health professionals covered by the ban issued by POEA.]

In April, the POEA issued a resolution temporarily suspending the deployment of all healthcare workers "until the national state of emergency is lifted."

RELATED: Ban vs. medical workers’ overseas deployment stays, says POEA

In line with this announcement, recruitment and placement agencies are now allowed to operate in areas under general and modified enhanced community quarantine, Roque said.

CNN Philippines correspondent Triciah Terada contributed to this report.