UK, Germany requesting more health workers from the Philippines
Marje Pelayo • February 23, 2021 • 649
MANILA, Philippines – The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has increased the demand for health workers all over the world.
In the Philippines, the national government put in place a deployment cap of 5,000 health workers for 2021 to make sure that the country will have a sufficient number in case the COVID-19 infection worsens.
But the governments of the United Kingdom and Germany appealed to the Philippines to deploy more health workers given that the country is one of the top exporters of this field and expertise.
According to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), there is an ongoing negotiation on this request.
The Philippine government, however, has several conditions before approving the matter.
One is that the requesting countries, in return, should give the Philippines COVID-19 vaccines.
“Ang nire-request ni Secretary Bello ay para sa ating mga OFWs. So ito ang mga OFWs na na-repatriate na dito including yung mga OFWs din na papaalis,” explained DOLE Director for International Labor Affairs Alice Visperas.
The official said there are around 600,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were repatriated and some of them were redeployed.
“Karamihan sa mga bansa ngayon na kumukuha ng workers. Gusto nila may vaccine na yung kukunin nilang workers. Darating din ang panahon baka hindi na sila kukuha pag hindi pa nabibigyan ng vaccine,” Visperas noted.
Another condition is the renegotiation for Labor agreement in favor of OFWs in the said countries.
DOLE said the matter is now on the ministerial level and is, so far, receiving a possible response.
But the Filipino Nurses United seemed offended with the way the government is treating the country’s nurses.
“Sa FNU na turn off kmi, disgusted na parang commodities o export products trato sa amin ng gobyerno,” the group said in a statement.
“Two separate issues iyon. Kung gustong mag-abroad ng nurses karapatan nila iyon. Huwag gamiting trade off. Kung kailangan natin ng bakuna, mag procure,” it added.
The Philippine Nurses Association, on the other hand, supports the government on the matter but as for the number, there should be a careful study first as to how many nurses will be allowed to leave.
“Kung manggagaling yan sa government and merong benefit ang Pilipinas with that I think we should welcome yung idea,” noted PNA President Melbert Reyes.
“But it should make sure sana na may maiiwan dito sa Pilipinas to take care of our people,” he concluded. –MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)
MANILA, Philippines — Actress Angel Locsin on Friday (April 23) apologized after a senior citizen died while waiting in line at the community pantry in Quezon City.
The actress admitted they were not able to control the huge crowd that waited in line.
She said the community pantry was supposed to open at 10:00 a.m. but they had to open a bit early as the volume of people who want to benefit from the community pantry began to rise.
There were also individuals who did not have a stub and, yet, cut in line.
“Hindi lang po talaga nila ma-control ang mga tao. Hindi po ito ang gusto ko, nagsimula po kami ng maayos ang aming layunin pati ang pagpaplano ng social distancing nagkataon lang po talaga siguro na gutom lang po talaga na kahit wala pa sa pila sumingit na. Sa mga nagambala ko po dito pasensya na po hindi po ito ang intensyon ko (We were not able to control the crowd. This is not what I wanted, we started off good and we planned it out including the social distancing. It just so happends that there were a lot of people in need that they had to cut in line. To those I inconvenienced, I apologize. It was not my intention),” she said.
The senior citizen, 67-year-old Rolando Dela Cruz, fainted while he was in line in the community pantry. He was rushed to the hospital but was declared dead on arrival.
Barangay Holy Spirit Captain Chito Valmocina expressed concern over the lack of coordination between the local authorities and Locsin’s personnel.
“Ang request nga nila dalawang tanod lang. Alas-dose na hindi pa natatapos ang 300 tsaka pa nila sinabi na talagang hanggang 300 lang (They only requested two barangay tanods. It was already 12:00 noon, they still were not done serving 300 [beneficiaries] when they said they will only accommodate 300 people),” Valmocina said.
Meanwhile, the Quezon City local government said they are ready to provide financial aid to the relatives of Dela Cruz.
The local government added that it still supports community pantries; however, the health and safety protocols should still be followed and organizers should fully coordinate with the local government to avoid a similar incident. AAC (with reports from Janice Ingente)
MANILA, Philippines – The government’s task force for COVID-19 response has approved the application of Philippine Health Insurance Corp.’s (PhilHealth) debit-credit payment method (DCPM) in areas with high-risk and critical COVID-19 situation nationwide, Malacañang said Friday.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) approved the policy on Thursday, April 22.
Roque said the move was made as high-risk and critical risk areas will also be prioritized in the COVID-19 vaccine allocation, human health resource deployment, and other relevant COVID-19 response measures, as applicable.
Prior to the IATF’s order, PhilHealth, under its Circular 2021-0004, provides for the use of payment method to facilitate the settlement of accounts payable to healthcare facilities during the State of Public Health Emergency brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
PhilHealth initially applied DCPM only to areas identified by the IATF, particularly in the National Capital Region, Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, and Rizal.
Roque said the IATF likewise directed the National Task Force (NTF) Task Group Treat, through the One COVID Referral System, to utilize the Feasibility Analysis of Syndromic Surveillance Using Spatio-Temporal Epidemiological Modeler for Early Detection of Diseases (FASSSTER) projections on target beds and human resources for health.
“These projections shall identify health capacity needs required to lower health care and intensive care unit (ICU) utilization rates,” he said.
“The NTF shall also review and implement the recommended Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat- Reintegrate strategies to reduce the health utilization rates and augment the needs of human resources for health,” he added.
Roque said that the task group will also identify target additional beds on a weekly basis that will substantially reduce health care and ICU utilization rates, determine and list specific health facilities and infrastructure to contribute these additional beds, and operationalize how these beds become functional with adequate human resources for health and equipment.
The Palace official earlier said that the government is eyeing to add 200 more ICU beds for COVID-19 patients.
“The NTF shall further engage the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to develop training and instructional materials of available COVID-19 response frameworks to enhance the enforcement of COVID-19 strategies at the barangay level,” Roque said.
The said materials shall be cascaded to the barangay, purok, sitio, and zone levels through the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the regional counterparts of the NTF for immediate and intensified implementation through barangay empowerment, he added.
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