Republic of the Philippines

50 Hobson Street, Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand 6011

Statement on allegations of Ms. Monina Hernandez JSD-2021-05

/ advisory

Yesterday, Ms. Monina Hernandez alleged in her social media account and during her television interview with 1 News that the Philippine Government is using nurses “as pawns” in order to secure “resources during the pandemic.”

This is in apparent reaction to the recent advisory of the Philippine Embassy in New Zealand that it is embarking on forging a new PH-NZ Agreement on Nursing Deployment, and that the current Competency Assessment Programme (CAP) for Filipino Nurses should be paused in the meantime.

The Embassy wishes to make the assurance that Ms. Hernandez’s inflammatory allegation has absolutely no basis and is uncalled for, and does not contribute positively to PH-NZ relations.

While the Philippine and New Zealand Governments are coordinating on a range of issues regarding the pandemic, vaccine procurement is not one of them.

Also, the Philippine Government is not preventing nurses from departing to New Zealand for work, provided they have the proper work visa.

Last year there was a momentary suspension of the overseas deployment of health care workers, but that has been lifted. The Hon. Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Teodoro Locsin Jr., has been very vocal about the rights of Filipino Nurses to seek employment overseas.

Given that Ms. Hernandez is a member of the Nursing Council of New Zealand (NCNZ), a board member of the New Zealand Nurses Organization (NZNO) and a former Parliamentary candidate under the New Zealand Labour Party, the Embassy will ask for clarification if her views reflect those of the three (3) said organisations.

In the meantime, the Embassy has been reaching out to the Filipino Nursing Community in New Zealand, informing them of the latest developments with regard to CAP and other related issues, and continues to ascertain their views and concerns for inclusion in the forthcoming agreement.

The Embassy will also be meeting this week with the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) to begin the Agreement process.

Thank you for your attention and understanding. Maraming salamat po.

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