THE demand for Filipino nurses has more than doubled since the beginning of the global pandemic last year, said Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
POEA Administrator Bernard P. Olalia said in an online news briefing on Wednesday that more countries are opening their doors to additional Filipino healthcare workers (HCW).
Earlier this year a 5,000-deployment cap for HCWs was imposed by POEA to ensure the country has a sufficient pool of medical personnel for the COVID-19 response.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) had however opted to increase the cap last month by another 1,500 on the request of the Department of Labor and Employment.
Olalia said they were hoping to utilize all the additional slots by August and were coordinating with the IATF to increase employment cap to provide more Filipino the opportunities to work abroad.
Last July 27, following the lifting of the deployment ban to Israel, at least 48 Filipino caregivers have been deployed by the POEA.
The agency said this is the first batch of Filipino home-based caregivers bound for Israel.
“A total of 48 from the 403 hired caregivers are set to arrive [i]n Israel on July 28, 2021 to provide skilled caregiving assistance to the persons with disabilities (PWDs), including elderly disabled persons in the said country,” POEA said in a statement.
The caregivers were deployed on Tuesday (July 27) night.
The other 355 hired Filipino caregivers are also soon to be deployed in the coming weeks.
“The deployment is in accordance [with] the existing bilateral labor agreement between the Philippines and Israel in 2018, which provides strengthened protection and employment opportunities to Filipino caregivers,” Olalia said.
The agreement with Israel safeguards Filipino caregivers from paying excessive fees from private agencies as the hiring and deployment of workers are under the government-to-government scheme.