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Nurses’ group welcomes move allowing more health workers to work abroad

Michelle R. Guillang

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The Filipino Nurses United (FNU) on Tuesday welcomed the decision of the government to allow more health workers to work abroad, stating the country has enough to fill its needed workforce.

This came after President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Monday night that all health workers with perfected contracts as of Aug. 31 may now be allowed to leave.

“Masaya ang FNU para sa 1,500 na pwede nang makaalis dahil pinayagan na yung mga may perfected contract hanggang Aug. 31,” FNU president Maristela Abenojar said in an interview with DZMM.

Abenojar believed that the move would not affect the country’s healthcare workforce with about 200,000 health workers who are still unemployed.

She also lamented the existing need for more staff among hospitals due to a continuing increase in the number of patients infected with the virus.

Abenojar stressed that the government should consider conducting a mass hiring of workers especially during the pandemic where more people have lost their jobs.

“Hindi po sapat yung emergency hiring lamang kasi yun po ay tatlong buwan lang po ang inooffer samantalang alam naman po natin na nagextend na po ang ating national state of calamity for one year until next year. So ang amin pong kahilingan ay mass hiring talaga,” she said.

She reiterated that offering positions that are permanent, with a security of tenure and with a well-compensated salary are the best ways to encourage more health worker-applicants to stay in the country and seek jobs here.

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