Senator Joel Villanueva said that the Duterte administration should “continue raising the standards of compensation” for Filipino healthcare workers even after lifting the deployment ban on them to other countries.

Villanueva, who also serves as the chairman of the Senate labor committee, made the statement after the confirmation of Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III that President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the recommendation of the Interagency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) to lift the ban.

The task force made a resolution stating that there will be a cap of 5,000 healthcare workers deployed every year to make sure that the Philippines will not run out of experienced and skilled medical professionals amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While we welcome the lifting of the deployment ban on healthcare workers, we see this as a reminder for our government to continue raising the standards of compensation for them,” said Villanueva.

“As we have said before, when we called for the lifting of the ban early on, the most effective way to make our healthcare workers stay and work in our country is to offer better employment terms including competitive salary and benefits, and its timely payout,” the senator continued.

“We’re certain that our healthcare workers would not think twice about leaving their families behind and place themselves overseas where the risk of getting infected is similar here in the country,” he stressed.

“The world respects and looks up to Filipino healthcare workers as one of the best and compensates them well for raising the standards of care. Our government should do the same to our own kababayans,” he added.

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