Duke of Edinburgh: PH must be 'half-empty'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 21 2013 10:51 PM | Updated as of Feb 22 2013 10:49 PM

MANILA – The Duke of Edinburgh was only apparently joking when he told a Filipina nurse that the Philippines must be “half-empty,” but he was right in summarizing the state of overseas Filipino workers.

In a report from the Telegraph UK, the 91-year-old Prince Philip told a Filipina nurse working at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital: "The Philippines must be half-empty - you're all here running the [National Health Service].”

The nurse could only laugh.

Prince Philip visited the hospital to unveil a £5.5 million cardiac center.

A hospital spokesperson described his visit as "hugely motivational."

But the spokesperson would not comment whether they held a recent recruitment in the Philippines.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council said 16,184 of the 670,000 nurses in the UK were from the Philippines.

"Luton is a very cosmopolitan town and the working staff at Luton and Dunstable Hospital reflects that," the spokesperson said.

In a report from the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), the number of deployed OFWs has risen to a million in only three decades starting 1975.

“As of 2010, the number of OFWs has been estimated at 1.47 million (38.4 percent higher than its 2006 figure). In 2011, the total number of OFWs continued its rising streak, expanding by 15.4 percent during the year, with the land-based and sea-based workers showing a spread of 19.5 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively. The phenomenal rise in these figures clearly points to the high premium put by the world to OFWs,” NSCB said.