IATF recommends to Duterte lifting of deployment ban vs healthcare workers
The Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte the lifting of deployment ban of healthcare workers abroad amid the coronavirus disease crisis.
In a text message to reporters, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the lifting of the deployment ban was discussed during the IATF meeting on Monday afternoon.
"During the IATF meeting (it)reconsidered the policy on the travel ban on health workers," he said.
Based on the recommendation, those to be covered are healthcare workers with "existing perfected employment contracts," Panelo said.
"Those with existing perfected employment contracts will be able to leave," he said.
Panelo said he also sent a memorandum to Duterte recommending the lifting of travel ban on health workers with perfected contract.
"The IATF resolution is subject to the approval of the President," he said.
But he added, "it's a foregone conclusion. He has not disapproved any recommendation made by the IATF."
The Department of Labor and Employment-Philippine Overseas Employment Administration earlier issued a resolution suspending the deployment abroad of healthcare workers, such as doctors, nurses, microbiologists, molecular biologists, medical technologists, clinical analysts, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, laboratory technicians, nursing assistants, operators of medical equipment, supervisors of health services and personal care, and repairmen of medical-hospital equipment.
"It is of paramount national interest to ensure that the country shall continue to have sustain the supply, and prepare sufficient health personnel to meet any further contingencies, especially to replace, substitute or reinforce existing workforce currently employed, deployed or utilized locally," POEA said.
It said the temporary suspension of deployment of health workers would be effective until the national state of emergency is lifted and until COVID-19-related travel restrictions are lifted at the destination countries.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. has criticized the POEA resolution. Celerina Monte/DMS