POEA suspends overseas deployment of nurses, HCWs anew

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) ordered anew the temporary suspension on the deployment of newly hired healthcare workers (HCWs) abroad after the 6,500-annual cap has been reached. 

In a POEA Advisory No. 144 entitled "Temporary Suspension of Processing and Deployment of New Hire Nurses, Nursing Aides and Nursing Assistants" issued October 26, 2021, POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia said that the ceiling for the deployment has been reached.

"Pursuant to POEA Governing Board Resolution No. 17, Series of 2020 and POEA Advisory No. 79, Series of 2021 on the lifting of the moratorium or temporary suspension on the deployment of nurses, nursing aides and nursing assistants, and increasing the annual deployment cap from 5,000 to 6,500, the Administration hereby announces that the said ceiling has been reached as of date," said Olalia. 

"In view of the above, the processing, issuance of overseas employment certificates (OECs) and the deployment of new hires for nurses, nursing aides and nursing assistants are hereby suspended effective immediately. Healthcare workers who were already issued with their corresponding OECs however are allowed to depart for their overseas employment," he added. 

 According to Olalia, the suspension of overseas deployment will take effect until a new Resolution has been issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID). 

In April 2020, POEA temporarily suspended the deployment of all health care workers “until the national state of emergency is lifted and until Covid 19-related travel restrictions are lifted at the destination countries.” 

This is to ensure that the country has an adequate number of medical workers amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Then in December last year, the POEA lifted the deployment ban “until it reaches the annual deployment ceiling of 5,000 new hires for healthcare workers.” 

The ceiling was increased to 6,500 after the limit was reached in June 2021. 

     A lot of countries have asked the Philippine government for an exemption from this overseas deployment cap but only United Kingdom was given the nod to hire without limit.

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