The Philippines, one of the world's biggest sources of nurses, reached its annual cap of 5,000 health worker deployments late last month.
That means another 1,500 nurses and healthcare staff can work abroad, according to the labour ministry.
Health workers under government-to-government labour deals, such as that with the United Kingdom, are exempted from the new cap.
Roughly 17,000 Filipino nurses signed overseas work contracts in 2019, but the Philippines put a temporary halt on that in 2020, to shore-up its health sector as coronavirus hospitalisations rose sharply.
Jocelyn Andamo, secretary general of the Filipino Nurses United, said the additional 1,500 was frustrating.
Eloisa Lopez, Harry Roque, Jocelyn Andamo, Neil Jerome Morales, Martin Petty
REUTERS, Health, Filipino Nurses United, Thomson
United Kingdom, Manila, Philippines, MANILA