POEA temporarily bars healthcare workers from leaving PH after hitting 5K cap

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 6) — The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration temporarily suspended the deployment of nurses and other healthcare workers overseas after reaching the 5,000 cap.

In an advisory dated June 1, POEA chief Bernard Olalia said the annual deployment ceiling of 5,000 new hires for medical workers "has been reached as of date."

"The processing and issuance of overseas employment certificates and deployment of new hires for healthcare workers are hereby suspended effective immediately," Olalia said.

"Healthcare workers who were already issued with their corresponding overseas employment certificates, however, are allowed to depart for their overseas employment," the POEA official added.

Late last year, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases said the move was needed given the "national demand" for healthcare workers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

There were calls, however, to not limit medical workers' deployment abroad to just 5,000.

READ: Lawmaker urges IATF to remove cap on health workers deployment

Anakalusugan Party-list Rep. Mike Defensor, for instance, said in January that there was "no point in restraining" them when the Philippines only offers low wages.

Defensor also flagged about possible exploitation from securing overseas employment certificates to point of departure in immigration counters if the IATF would not scrap this order.