Filipino health workers with existing contracts abroad can now leave, says DFA

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 13) - The government will now allow Filipino health workers with existing contracts abroad to leave the country, despite the enhanced community quarantine, said Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro "Teddy Boy" Locsin, Jr.

Recently, Locsin said that he will raise his opposition to the Cabinet about the temporary travel ban on health workers created by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.

“DONE. NURSES, other health workers with existing contracts of work abroad can leave,” said Locsin in his Twitter post on Monday.

In his post, he also thanked Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr.

Further, Locsin said future applications are frozen until further notice, provided that more than 450,000 nurses must be given employment.

President Rodrigo Duterte also had no objections to the departure of health workers who have jobs overseas waiting for them.

“Itong ganito, sa ordinary times, talagang hindi kayo mapigilan at walang makasabi sainyo umalis kayo o wag kayong umalis,” said Duterte in a late night press briefing.

[Translation: In ordinary times, you cannot be stopped and no one can tell you to leave or not.]

He added, “’Di ako galit. Wala akong emotions about this actually.”

[Translation: I’m not angry. I don’t have any emotions about this actually.]