Palace spokesman Harry Roque on Monday urged nurses to avail themselves of the Department of Health’s emergency hiring program to take advantage of the overseas deployment ban on Filipino health workers amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Aug. 22, Health Secretary Francisco Duque reported that only 25 health workers have applied in the emergency recruitment program.

Both Duque and Roque have appealed to the nurses to practice “nationalism” amid the deployment ban.

In an earlier briefing, Duque called on nurses to take part in the “war” and be selfless in providing their services.

Roque in a Palace briefing claimed the deployment ban issued last April was done in part to protect nurses from contracting the coronavirus in countries with more Covid-19 cases.

“Pangalawa po, charity begins at home; mayroon naman po tayong mga bakanteng mga posisyon, dito po muna po tayo sana po magtrabaho,” he said.

The spokesman added that earning experience in the medical field amid the health crisis would prove significant for workers’ careers in the future.

“Sa tingin ko po, kapag kayo po ay nag-apply dito sa emergency recruitment ng ating gobyerno at nagtrabaho po habang may Covid, naku, pag-aagawan po kayo lalo kapag natapos na itong pandemic na ito dahil with your clinical experience at the time of Covid, you will become po the subject of head hunters,” he said.

“Kaunting tiyaga lang po but take advantage of the opportunity na rin po to prove your worth in the Philippines as clinical nurses,” he added.

Only medical workers with verified overseas employment contracts as of March 8 were allowed by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to leave the country for overseas jobs.

READ: Health workers with contracts as of March 8 exempted from overseas deployment ban – Palace 

As of Aug. 24, the country has recorded 194,252 Covid-19 cases, of which 59,200 were active. John Ezekiel J. Hirro