Marcos says Singapore wants more Filipinos for health care jobs

President Ferdinand
President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., who is in Singapore for a state visit from September 6-7 2022, greeted his fellow countrymen at the National University of Singapore on Tuesday (September 6) amid a party atmosphere. (SCREENGRAB: Philippine Embassy in Singapore Facebook page)

Singapore is looking to recruit more Filipinos for the allied health care industry, said President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. during his meeting with the Filipino community in the city-state on Tuesday evening (September 6).

Marcos made the announcement amid a carnival-like atmosphere at the University Cultural Centre Ho Bee Auditorium, located in the National University of Singapore. According to Inquirer, the president told kababayans that Pinoys are admired in Singapore.

"That’s how they look up to you. Singapore is looking for thousands [of workers] – not only nurses but also aviation [workers], engineers, professors – everything."

Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople, who then joined Marcos on stage, added that the Singapore government had been impressed by the work of Filipino healthcare workers during the pandemic.

Ople revealed that a joint communique would be signed with Singapore's Ministry of Health on Wednesday, on the city-state's intention to hire an initial 3,000 Filipino health workers. On Sunday, the Secretary also said that tech giants Facebook and Grab aim to hire more Filipino workers in Singapore, while an additional 20,000 Filipino factory workers are expected to be hired in Taiwan by December.

The Philippines is the world's top exporter of nurses, but is also experiencing a nursing shortage.

And in 2021, the Philippines government imposed a cap on the number of healthcare workers allowed to work abroad. As of February this year, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has raised the annual deployment limit to 7,000.

Ambassador Teresita Daza, who is the spokesperson of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), told reporters last Friday that there are two expected deliverables from Marcos' first state visit to Singapore.

The first is an agreement regarding the Philippines’ fielding of a team to the Counterterrorism Information Facility (CTIF), while the second is a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on data privacy and protection cooperation.

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