According to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), the demand for Filipino nurses has more than doubled since the start of the pandemic last year.
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In an online news briefing on Wednesday, POEA Administrator Bernard P. Olalia stated that more countries are opening their doors to extra Filipino healthcare workers (HCW).
More Pinoy Nurses Needed Abroad During Pandemic – POEA
POEA imposed a 5,000-deployment limit for HCWs earlier this year to guarantee the government has a sufficient pool of medical personnel for the COVID-19 response, the Philippine News Agency reported.
However, at the request of the Department of Labor and Employment, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) decided to raise the cap by another 1,500 last month.
Olalia stated that they hoped to fill all of the new slots by August and worked with the IATF to enhance the employment cap to provide more Filipinos with the opportunity to work abroad.
Following the relaxation of the deployment embargo to Israel on July 27, at least 48 Filipino caregivers were deployed by the POEA.
According to the agency, this is the first group of Filipino home-based carers headed to Israel.
“A total of 48 from the 403 hired caregivers are set to arrive [i]n Israel on July 28, 2021, to provide skilled caregiving assistance to the persons with disabilities (PWDs), including elderly disabled persons in the said country,” POEA said in a statement.
The caregivers were deployed on Tuesday night (July 27).
The remaining 355 contracted Filipino caregivers will be deployed in the coming weeks.
“The deployment is in accordance [with] the existing bilateral labor agreement between the Philippines and Israel in 2018, which provides strengthened protection and employment opportunities to Filipino caregivers,” Olalia said.
The arrangement with Israel protects Filipino caregivers from paying exorbitant fees to commercial companies because hiring and deploying employees is done through a government-to-government scheme.