|PH made a request for both countries to provide the Philippines with vaccines in exchange for the deployment of more Filipino health care workers. (Photo from STAR/Michael Varcas)|
[Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] MANILA, — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is negotiating to secure at least 600,000 COVID vaccines from the United Kingdom and Germany for departing and displaced overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), PhilStar reported.
Alice Visperas, DOLE international labor affairs bureau director, said at a virtual briefing yesterday that Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has asked the governments of both countries to provide the Philippines with vaccines in exchange for the deployment of more Filipino health care workers (HCWs). She noted that Bello had informed the two countries that the Philippine government considers granting them exemption from the deployment cap if they would agree to the agency’s requests, which include a renewal of previous bilateral agreements providing protection for OFWs.
Both Germany and the UK have been seeking exemption from the government’s existing cap in the deployment of nurses and other HCWs abroad to ensure a sufficient supply of health care professionals in the Philippines during the pandemic. The HCWs, particularly nurses, are highly in demand in European countries due to the aging population. While DOLE still waits for feedback, Visperas is optimistic that the requests will be granted. The UK government, she said, is expected to send a response within the week.