Medical workers with overseas employment contracts as of Aug. 31 will be permitted to leave the country and work abroad following President Rodrigo Duterte’s latest directive.

“Nakinig naman po ang presidente sa hinaing ng mga nurses, so iyong mga mayroon nang mga papeles at kumpletong documentation as of Aug. 31, 2020, pinayagan na po ni presidente na makaalis para sa kanilang trabaho abroad,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in an online briefing.

Earlier, only health workers with complete employment documentation as of March 8 were allowed to work abroad.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the eased restrictions would benefit about 1,500 health workers.

Roque said Duterte had yet to decide on the total lifting of the deployment ban.

“Pinagbigyan lang po iyong nakagastos na para sa mga papeles. So wala na pong pupuwedeng magreklamo na nagkaroon sila ng gastos tapos hindi sila nakaalis,” he said.

Health workers working locally were recently entitled to more benefits under the Bayanihan 2 Law, including a P10,000 allowance for workers in public and private hospitals, P15,000 financial aid to medical workers who contract a mild Covid-19 infection and P100,000 cash assistance to those who contract a severe infection.

Under Bayanihan 2, P40.5 billion was allotted to the government’s health-related programs. John Ezekiel J. Hirro