MANILA — President Duterte has on Monday made an appeal to Filipino health care workers to stay and serve in the country for a little while longer as the government still needs them in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Duterte made the statement at Arcadia Active Lifestyle Center in Davao City after he allowed the overseas deployment of Filipino nurses and other health professionals with existing contracts and complete documents as of August 31.
In his public address earlier on Monday, Duterte said that health workers with existing contracts with employers abroad may now leave the Philippines.
However, the Chief Executive had asked other medical professionals to wait for their turn as the country still needs them on continuing its battle against the disease.
“Yung iba maghintay-hintay lang kayo sandali. Kina-calibrate lang natin yung paglabas ng mga… kasi kailangan din natin yung mga tao (To the others, please wait for a while. We are still calibrating the number of people going abroad because we still need the manpower here),” the President said.
At the same time President Duterte clarified that he has nothing against health workers who appealed to lift the deployment ban because he accordingly understands that they only want to earn more money for their family.
“I do not have anything against you… I have but respect for all of you. But for those who want to go out, pwede na ho (you may do so),” he said.
After which, the President appealed to those who were not able to leave the country this time to stay behind until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
“Sana yung iba naman (I hope the others who are still here) will have the spirit and the fervor to serve the Filipino people because we also need help and we have a crisis also to deal with,” President Duterte said.
“Sana tagal-tagalan na muna ninyo (I hope you’ll stay for a while), until after this COVID-19 will pass. It will come to pass, sigurado ako (I’m sure of it),” he added.
Malacañang said at least 1,500 Filipino nurses and other health professionals will benefit from the lifting of the deployment ban.
The government has initially halted the migration of health workers abroad to ensure their safety from COVID-19 and to address the shortage of manpower. It later allowed health workers with perfected and signed work contracts as of March 8 to be deployed for abroad.