NEWLY-hired Filipino health care workers with signed contracts as of August 31, 2020 may now leave the country to work overseas, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) announced Tuesday, October 6.
“The cut-off date was extended from March 8 to August 31 upon the recommendation of
the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID),” the agency said.
In its Advisory No. 47-B Series of 2020, the POEA said HCWs who have perfected and signed contracts as of the new date and “have secured overseas employment certificates (OECs) as their exit permits can now report to their employers overseas.”
“New hire health care workers refer to newly hired HCWs who are direct hires, recruitment agency hires, including POEA Government Placement Branch hires who were already accepted under the hiring program of host countries,” the POEA said.
The “Balik-Manggagawa,” or returning health workers with OEC exemption certificates, are likewise allowed to leave the country, as well as seafarers previously hired as doctors and nurses onboard, and would be deployed by the same licensed manning agency.
“The deployment of HCWs will remain under a strict observance of prescribed quarantine protocols, social distancing measures, as well as in the departure and immigration formalities in the Philippines, in transit counties, and in countries of work destination,” POEA said.
The agency, meanwhile, maintained that the deployment of HCWs to countries that impose travel restrictions is still prohibited.
It also reiterated that outbound passengers with visas that are not documented through POEA regulations, such as the U.S. J-1 visa, and permanent residents, immigrants or dual citizens of other countries are excluded from the temporary deployment suspension.