Med workers asked to stay in Phl
FNU president Maristela Abenojar said the move was not a blow on the country’s workforce since over 200,000 local health professionals remain unemployed
President Rodrigo Duterte has appealed to health care workers without contracts abroad to stay in the country, saying the government still needs them in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
The Chief Executive said this Monday night
after he approved the overseas deployment of nurses with complete documents such as visas as of 31 August. Previously, only those with contracts as of 8 March were allowed to leave the country for work.
“This is not really to offend those health workers of ours, doctors, nurses who want to go abroad to earn good money. I do not have anything against you, but I hope you 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,” the President stated in a recorded address.
Duterte, however, said he respects the decision of medical professionals who chose to work overseas.
“But to those who are still here, please stay for a while until after this COVID-19 will pass. It will come to pass. I’m sure,” Duterte said.
“The others, just wait for some time. We are just calibrating the travel of our people because we also need manpower,” he added.
Nurses have long appealed for the total lifting of the ban, saying that it is the frontline workers’ right to seek better salaries abroad. There is no word yet from the President on when he would decide on the matter.
I hope you 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.
The Filipino Nurses United (FNU) welcomed the President’s decision to allow and expand the exemption on deployment ban, noting that this would benefit about 1,500 workers who had secured documents to work abroad.
FNU president Maristela Abenojar said the move was not a blow on the country’s workforce since over 200,000 local health professionals remain unemployed.
The deployment ban was first implemented in April as the President said that he wants to keep health workers safe from working in countries with high cases of COVID-19.
The Palace on Tuesday, meanwhile, expressed confidence that the Chief Executive would support the proposed measure of his son, Deputy House Speaker and Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte, which seeks to hike the salary of nurses in the private sector.
House Bill 7659 urges the National Wages Productivity Commission of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) to establish a minimum wage for nurses in private-owned medical facilities to make it at par with their counterparts in public hospitals.
Citing figures from DoLE, the bill noted that registered nurses receive an average salary of P9,757 monthly, lower than the pay of minimum wage earners each month.