A new destination for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) is being looked into by the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) for possible deployment of Filipino healthcare professionals.
In an administrative order, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd on Thursday formed a team of labor officials who will appraise the viability of deploying Filipino healthcare professionals to the Republic of San Marino, a state on the Italian Peninsula.
The assessment team, headed by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and composed of member institutions coming from the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) and International Labor Affairs Bureau, will also look into how opportunities can be maximized under a proposed Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Home Services between San Marino and the Philippines.
The team will also identify all possible deployment modalities, such as POEA deployment and Movement of Natural Persons under the General Agreement on Trade and Services.
After the appraisal, the assessment team will recommend to the Labor secretary appropriate measures to address identified gaps in Philippine nursing and caregiving training, certification or accreditation to make them competitive and viable.
A draft strategic plan for a viable supply of nursing and caregiving services in San Marino is also expected from the team.
As provided for in the POEA Governing Board Resolution No. 2 Series of 2011, the Republic of San Marino is a certified compliant country, or where the rights of Filipino migrant workers are protected.
POEA records show that from 2015 to the present, there are only 22 OFWs in San Marino, composed of two new hires while the rest are rehires.
Meanwhile, an association of licensed recruitment agencies for Taiwan expressed its support to Bello’s order temporarily suspending the issuance of overseas employment certificate (OEC) to new applicants.
Pilipino Manpower Association for Taiwan (Pilmat) president Aida Gerodias said they have discussed the matter with Bello and were assured that “the suspension will only be for 15 days and that it will be to the benefit of the OFWs.”
“We have met with Secretary Bello and we are satisfied with his explanation,” the group said, even as it denied earlier reports that they were strongly opposing Department Order (DO) 185.
Gerodias said a statement attributed to Pilmat was false and malicious as it puts the group in a bad light, adding, “I never talked to anyone about DO 185, and how can I, when I was in sick bay?”