THE PHILIPPINES is set to sign a memorandum of understanding with the United Kingdom (UK) on the welfare and deployment of more Filipino nurses.  

British Minister for Asia Amanda Milling will come to the Philippines on Friday for the signing with Philippine Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III, according to Raul M. Francia, the Labor department’s information director.  

In a news briefing last Sept. 15, Mr. Bello explained that the memorandum is a “labor affairs agreement” to deploy more Filipino nurses to Great Britain and in exchange, the state will provide additional benefits for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) there, especially healthcare workers.   

The national government has decided to keep the country’s current deployment cap on nurses at 6,500 annually, but this does not include the UK and Germany given their respective government-to-government agreements with the Philippines.    

In another development, the two remaining OFWs allegedly abused by a retired Saudi general have been released by their employer after the Labor department threatened to temporarily suspend the deployment of workers to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  

Mr. Francia said the Philippine government has already booked the flights of the two OFWs and are set to come home soon.  

In 2018, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Saudi Arabia received reports of 16 OFWs being physical abused and deprived of their salaries by a retired general who is allegedly “a close ally of a Saudi Prince.”   

The 14 others have been repatriated with assistance from the Philippine government. They have also received their unpaid salaries amounting to about P100,000 to P300,000 each. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago  

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