More Filipino nurses, attracted by higher salaries abroad, are set to leave their country as coronavirus border controls ease and hiring becomes more aggressive, putting the Philippines in a tight spot in dealing with its own shortage of health care workers.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in September said he wants to increase the cap on the number of nurses allowed to go abroad annually from the current 7,500, but that the government at the same time must strive "to improve opportunities domestically."

The cap is a policy the Philippines implemented in 2020 to retain enough nurses to fight the pandemic at home. It has since been eased in stages.