Locsin says nurses with existing contract abroad may now leave

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 13 2020 07:56 PM | Updated as of Apr 13 2020 10:51 PM

MANILA - Nurses and other health workers with existing work contracts abroad can now leave the Philippines, according to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.

“There you go. Godspeed nurses; spread the word by your examples: Filipina nurses are there, with their extraordinary caring, for all people wherever in need of them,” he said in a tweet.

Locsin however said applications are frozen until further notice.

He thanked presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon as he made the announcement on Twitter.

Locsin described as unconstitutional the POEA governing board’s resolution temporarily suspending the deployment of all health care workers until the national state of emergency due to COVID19 is lifted and “until COVID-19-related travel restrictions are lifted at the destination countries.”

He added the ban will only make sense if “we pay them foreign rates” and if the country negotiates “first class work contracts for them.”

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration earlier released a memorandum suspending the deployment of doctors, nurses and healthcare workers abroad in the hopes of preserving the local frontline force against the novel coronavirus pandemic.