MANILA – The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has officially lifted the temporary ban on the deployment of newly-hired nurses.

In Governing Board Resolution (GBR) No. 17 dated Dec. 7 and released Tuesday, the agency allowed newly hired nurses, nursing aides, and nursing assistants to go abroad.

“The moratorium or temporary suspension of deployment of newly hired, nurses, nursing aides, and nursing assistants is hereby lifted effective immediately. Provided, that they deployment shall be subject to travel restrictions of the host country and execution of a declaration signifying their knowledge and understating of the risks involved as advised by the Philippine Government,” the resolution read.

However, the POEA said other workers in the medical sector are not included in the lifting of the temporary deployment ban.

“With regard to other workers and allied health care workers (HCWs), the moratorium and temporary suspension shall remain effective until the POEA upon due consultation with stakeholders, the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), and the Department of Health (DOH), lifts the moratorium with respect to them,” it said.

Also effective starting Jan. 1 next year, the POEA will impose an annual deployment ceiling of 5,000 new hires HCWs disaggregated by occupation until such time that the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) may decide to increase such ceiling considering the prevalence of public health emergency caused by Covid-19 pandemic.

“Taking into consideration the national demand for healthcare vis-a-vis the number of HCWs in the country, the DOLE consultation with all concerned shall make a regular assessment whether any of the identified HCWs in GBR No. 9, series of 2020 should be removed from the framework of MCS (mission critical skills),” the order read.

Likewise, the resolution allowed the hiring of HCWs through government-to-government negotiations under bilateral agreements.

Earlier, the government has implemented a ban on the sending of medical sector workers to ensure that the country has an adequate number of HCWs to respond to the Covid-19 health crisis. (PNA)