The Philippines is seeking to deploy more healthcare workers to the United Kingdom (UK) with increased protection for their rights.
This, as the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and UK recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the recruitment of healthcare professionals to improve the recruitment mechanisms that would further strengthen the protection of the rights of Filipino healthcare workers.
Bello said the agreement will further enhance the protection mechanisms for Filipino healthcare professionals in the areas of recruitment, policy development, and education and training, among others, while the British government already extends to Filipino workers in the UK the same employment rights and benefits as the British nationals.
“The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding on the Recruitment of Filipino Healthcare Professionals between the Philippines and the United Kingdom comes at a very crucial time,” Bello said in a statement on Wednesday.
“We have concluded this undertaking at a time the whole world is struggling to manage and cope with the Covid-19 pandemic, bringing about a global need for healthcare workers whose contributions to the pandemic battle has been undeniably crucial and immeasurable,” he added.
He said the MOU also provides the general rule on the promotion of their welfare in accordance with Philippine and British laws and regulations.
“Also important is that the signing of this agreement will further bolster the good ties between the two governments,” he said.
He said the country is ready to deploy Filipino healthcare workers to other nations just like the UK.
“With the British government’s request for exemption from the deployment quota, the Philippine government assessed its own need for healthcare workers vis a vis the need of other countries,” he said.
“We acknowledged it was also our duty to help other countries in their fight against the pandemic as a member of the community of nations. Thus, the Philippine government acceded to the request, with a colatilla that the healthcare professionals to be deployed will be further protected through a bilateral labor agreement,” he added.
He said the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the deployment of OFWs.
“This global health crisis has affected both labor sending countries such as the Philippines and host countries like the United Kingdom. The Philippines had to temporarily suspend the deployment of healthcare workers to other countries. This was followed by a deployment cap in order for us to manage our own battle against the pandemic,” Bello said.
The signing was witnessed by British Minister for Asia, the Right Honorable Amanda Milling, MP, officials of the Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the Philippines, and other government officials namely: Undersecretary Claro Arellano, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration Administrator Bernard Olalia, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac.