MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Thursday said it has requested the Department of Health (DOH) to lift the travel ban for overseas Filipino workers (OFW) to Taiwan amid the threat of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In a statement, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said he has coordinated with the DOH for his request to review its decision and lift the temporary travel ban soon.
“For those who are affected by the travel ban in Taiwan, we ask for your patience and in a few days, there will be a review. While waiting for the lifting of the ban, we are providing financial assistance,” Bello said.
The labor chief assured that stranded overseas workers who are members of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) will receive P10,000 financial assistance amid the crisis.
Affected OFWs will also be provided with accommodation, food and transportation assistance.
Bello asked stranded OFWs to wait for the result of the assessment for the next three to five days.
“We are seeking understanding from our OFWs because the implementation of a temporary ban by the DOH is for your own safety as well,” he said.
“We hope for a possible lifting of the ban in a few days,” he added.
The Philippine government earlier imposed a travel ban on China and its special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macau, in an effort to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. It later expanded the travel restrictions to include Taiwan.
The Taiwanese government questioned the Philippines’ move and reportedly warned to impose countermeasures should the latter keeps the entry ban.
The number of Filipinos overseas who have contracted novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has increased to 9,607 with 10 new infections, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Tuesday.
In its latest bulletin, the DFA said 28 more Filipinos have recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 5,681.
The death toll remained at 693, it added.
“As we continue to battle against this pandemic, the DFA rallies the Filipinos here and abroad to cooperate and responsibly adhere to precautionary measures of the local health authorities of the respective countries in which they reside,” the department said in a statement.
The DFA also reported that 3,233 are undergoing treatment.
Of this number, 254 are in the Asia Pacific Region, 512 in Europe, 2,327 in the Middle East and Africa, and 140 in the Americas, it added.
MANILA, Philippines — The local government of Mandaluyong has put all barangays in the city under special concern lockdown amid the implementation of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila.
Eleven barangays in the city are classified as areas of special concern by the local government due to high cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
But with the reversion of the National Capital Region (NCR) to MECQ on Tuesday (Aug. 4), the Mandaluyong government decided to put the whole city on special concern lockdown.
Mandaluyong’s Executive Order (EO) No 24 stated that under special concern lockdown, stricter curfew measures will be implemented from 8:00 PM to 5:00 AM.
Only individuals classified as Authorized Persons Outside of Residence (APOR) will be allowed to go out.
The city government is also mulling over applying the previous MECQ guidelines anew, such as on scheduling market days in every barangay.
With the start of the curfew on Tuesday night, the local government advises those who work on graveyard shifts to secure a work pass from their employers.
“Yung mga work passes kasi ang requirements lang naman niyan per barangay is to ahow to the barangay their ano certificate of employment. para atleast kahit papaano, makapasok sila sa trabaho nila,” said Jimmy Isidro, the Mandaluyong City government chief of staff.
The city government is also considering enforcing liquor ban in the area anew during the MECQ.
Employees at the Mandaluyong City Hall are also on a skeleton workforce to receive documents and transactions as business in the city is open as usual. — (with details from Vincent Arboleda) /mbmf
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