MANILA - Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Wednesday he is "inclined" to recommend that Britan be exempted from the country's deployment cap of healthworkers.
Bello has come under fire for saying the Philippines will let thousands of its healthcare workers, mostly nurses, to take up jobs in Britain if the country agrees to donate much-needed coronavirus vaccines for these workers.
"I informed the ambassador I am inclined to recommend the request for exemption but I said I have to convince the Department of Health and also the Inter-Agency Task Force," he told ANC's Headstart.
"For me to come up with a recommendation like that, it’s better before we could deploy our nurses, it’s better they’ve been vaccinated for the protection of our nurses and the protection of the people in UK. Wala pong usapan na palitan (There was no talk of exchange."
The labor chief said he has asked the Philippine Nurses Association to provide an "inventory" of their members before he makes a recommendation to the administration.
Thousands of Filipino nurses work in the UK's National Health Service. The Philippines earlier relaxed a ban on deploying its healthcare workers overseas, limiting it to 5,000 a year.
The country on Monday began its COVID-19 immunization program following the arrival of Chinese vaccine CoronaVac.