Licenses of recruitment agencies for overseas Filipino workers have been extended as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic continues, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration Administrator Bernard Olalia said Saturday.
In a public press briefing, Olalia said this would help recruitment agencies affected by the pandemic, as travel and deployment remain limited to contain the virus.
Olalia said: “As assistance, we have automatically extended their licenses. This means we will not impose regulations so we could help them.”
Olalia said some 50 agencies intended to close their main offices, while 70 branch offices had closed.
He said: “One of the hardest-hit sectors because of the pandemic is overseas employment. The data we receive from Philippine recruitment manning agencies are also affected.”
Travelling has been chiefly affected by the pandemic, as flights and overseas recruitment remain limited as the government sought to contain the disease through quarantine protocols.
Starting January, the government will impose a cap of 5,000 on the number of health workers allowed to be deployed per year, covering 12 work classifications under mission-critical skills, including nurses.
Once the situation is seen as easing, they may allow the deployment of another 5,000 workers and may also consider allowing the deployment of other health care workers such as doctors, pharmacists, and dentists.