Demand still high for PH health workers abroad

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Filipino health care workers (HCWs) are still in high demand abroad, according to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia said on Tuesday that overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are in the health care sector are very much needed in countries in Europe and the Middle East.

“When we talk about the demand of our OFWs, the HCWs or health care workers come first. In Europe, as in the UK and Germany, the need for HCWs, particularly nurses, is high because they are also their front-liners, just like us, this pandemic,” Olalia said during the Laging Handa briefing.

“In the Middle East, it is the same. The demand for our nurses is also high in countries such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Qatar, Kuwait,” he added.

Aside from HCWs, he said employers abroad are looking for Filipino skilled workers and seafarers.

“Technologically based OFWs or those we call skilled is also in demand in these times. In the seafaring industry, the in-demand are the usual cargo vessels, transport vessels, petroleum vessels that deliver supplies over the world using the seafaring or the maritime sector. The cruise ship is also slowly opening,” Olalia said.

He also said the deployment of Filipino workers overseas is slowly improving this year despite the pandemic.

“If we compare our figures with the deployment last year which was the height of the pandemic and our deployment now in 2021, on a month-to-month basis we can see the increase in our deployment today. If we had almost 74 percent decrease in deployment last year, now it is gradually increasing,” Olalia said.

He said the deployment of land-based and sea-based workers is also slowly opening as host countries starting to accept migrant workers.

“With our land-based deployment, we are no longer dropping more than 30,000 per month. This means that the opening up of the economies of our countries of destination is easing as well as the travel and border restrictions are also gradually easing,” Olalia said.

“In our sea-based sector, we have almost 40,000 deployments every month. This is our figure prior to our pandemic stage it means that the deployment of our seafarers is gradually improving,” he added. 

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