The Philippines’ labor minister said he will ask for government approval to allow 5,000 more healthcare workers to be deployed abroad, double the annual cap in a country that is one of the world’s biggest sources of nurses.
After lobbying by nurses groups, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said he will recommend to the coronavirus task force that the cap is raised.
Nurses are among the more than 10 million Filipinos who work and live overseas, with annual remittances in excess of 30 billion dollars, a key driver for the country’s consumption-driven economy.
Bello said, “There are reasons to allow health workers to seek good jobs abroad. We will make sure we will not run out of nurses and doctors.”
More than 200,000 nursing graduates have chosen to work in other industries because of meager compensation and benefits in the healthcare sector, Jocelyn Andamo, secretary general of the Filipino Nurses United, told Reuters.