MANILA - The Philippines has exempted the United Kingdom in its 5,000 annual deployment cap of healthworkers, its labor chief said Thursday.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III earlier said he had asked the UK to vaccinate Filipino nurses prior to their deployment. Thousands of Filipino nurses work in the UK's National Health Service.
The Philippines has an "oversupply" of nurses, Bello said when asked if the move would cause a lack of healthworkers in the country.
"We are very conscious of that, 'di namin papayagan na mangyari na tayo mismo napakaraming nurses ang mawalan ng nurses," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(We won't let it happen that we will run out of nurses.)
Some 4,000 nurses who returned to the country had reached the end of their contract but would again be deployed abroad, Bello said.
As of Thursday, the agency has repatriated 544,000 Filipino migrant workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bello said.