Allow Filipino health workers to work abroad, bishop asks gov’t

Allow Filipino health workers to   work abroad, bishop asks gov’t

Fr. Hans Magdurulang of San Felipe Neri Parish prays over the medical staff of Santa Ana Hospital in Manila on August 31. COURTESY OF SAN FELIPE NERI PARISH

By CBCP News

September 11, 2020

Manila, Philippines

A Church official has echoed calls for the government to lift the deployment ban and allow Filipino health workers to work abroad.

Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga, vice chairman of the episcopal conference’s migration ministry, said that the overseas work restrictions is “unreasonable and uncharitable”.

“To ban them from working abroad is not a solution,” Santos said, adding that the government should instead improve the working conditions of the workers.

According to him, the salary is one of the factors why Filipinos work overseas to meet their families’ needs.

“To provide what they need and to promote better working conditions are the answers,” he said.

“Let us now take care, love and provide all the best for our healthcare workers so they will remain with us, happy to work for us,” he said.

In April, the Philippines has barred doctors, nurses and other medical professionals from leaving abroad in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The temporary ban will remain in effect until the national emergency is lifted so they can help in the Covid-19 response in the country.

The government later allowed health workers with overseas employment contracts approved on or before March 8 to leave the country.

The Labor department also asked the inter-agency task force on Covid-19 to extend the exception from the deployment ban to workers who secured contracts as of August 31.

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