The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is recruiting civilian healthcare workers for possible coronavirus disease (COVID-19) duties amid a shortage of manpower in various hospitals in the National Capital Region (NCR) due to infection of many frontliners.

Col. Fatima Claire Navarro is the first female surgeon general of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). (Photo courtesy of AFP)

Colonel Fatima Claire Navarro, AFP Surgeon General, said Saturday, Sept. 25, that they were currently processing the application of eight personnel for the AFP Medical Corps, two personnel for the Nurse Corps, and 14 other civilians.

Meanwhile, ten reservist nurses were called to active duty to serve in the V. Luna Medical Center as some of its military doctors and nurses were sent to other hospitals in NCR.

“Currently, we have already in-line and those who have undergone deliberation board so it’s just the processing that we are handling. Although we have limited number of troops, as to the contingency, we are able to have civilian nurses that we can use to augment our hospitals so that our military nurses can go to deployment,” she said.

On Friday, the AFP announced that they would deploy five medical teams as augmentation forces to various hospitals in the NCR. Each team is composed of five members: a doctor, a nurse, and three aidmen.

Two teams came from the Philippine Army, while one team each were provided by the Philippine Navy, Philippine Air Force, and AFP Medical Corps.

“We will be pooling the personnel. The needs of NCR facilities are different from one another. Some will need nurses, some will need doctors and so we will be determining the team,” Navarro said.

“As to our contingency, we are facilitating the recruitment. We already have applicants who are already in process of their appointment. We are trying to facilitate that [recruitment] in order to come up with more personnel that we can utilize for this contingency,” she added.

For those interested to apply in the AFP Medical Corps and Nurse Corps, the basic qualifications include the ff:

– Natural-born Filipino citizen;

– 25 to 39 years old for AFP Medical Corps, and 21 to 24 years old for Nurse Corps;

– Minimum height requirement of 5′ for both male and female;

– Physically, psychologically fit and of good moral character;

– Passed the Physician Licensure Exam (PLE) or a Registered Nurse; and

– With at least one year hospital experience in DOH Level 2-accredited hospital for AFP Nurse Corps

The public is encouraged to visit the website and social media pages of the AFP Office of the Chief Medical Corps and Office of the Chief Nurse for other requirements.

Public and private hospitals in the NCR were overwhelmed as the Delta variant drove a surge of cases that may be the worst the country has ever faced since the start of the pandemic last year, according to National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon.

Records from the Department of Health (DOH) showed around 24,000 healthcare workers have been infected, at least 104 have died and there were 366 active cases among medical frontliners.

In Metro Manila, the COVID-19 ward of St. Luke’s Medical Center was reportedly closed since it has already reached its full capacity and some of their frontliners got infected.

Meanwhile, 60 frontliners were reportedly infected and quarantined at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center; 55 at the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay (UERM) Memorial Medical Center; 84 at the Medical City; and 33 at the Philippine Heart Center.

NTF chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. was scheduled to visit some of the hospitals in NCR to assess the situation on the ground.

Source: Manila Bulletin (