Muling pagpapadala ng OFWs sa Jordan, pinag-aaralan ng POEA

Robie de Guzman   •   December 18, 2020   •   726

MANILA, Philippines – Pinag-aaralan na ng Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) ang posibilidad na muling pagpapadala ng overseas Filipino workers (OFW) sa bansang Jordan.

Magugunitang sinuspindi ng pamahalaan ng Pilipinas ang deployment ng mga bagong hire na OFW matapos magpahayag ng pagkabahala si Philippine Ambassador to Jordan Akmad Sakkam dahil sa pagtaas ng kaso ng COVID-19 doon.

Ayon kay POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia, nakikipag-ugnayan na sila sa Philippine Overseas Labor Office maging sa mga ambassador na maaaring makatulong ukol sa deployment ng mga OFW.

Gov’t travel restrictions bar OFWs bound for Red List countries from leaving

Maris Federez   •   December 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) bound for the countries under the Red List cannot still go out of the country amid the threat of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

The POEA said that even if OFWs have complete travel documents, they still cannot leave because there are no outbound international flights going to their employment destination.

POEA administrator Attorney Bernard Olalia stated that because inbound flights from counties under the Red List are banned, outbound flights going there are affected as well.

“At bilang nasa kategorya ng Red List countries, kanselado po lahat ng incoming international flights, at pagka kanselado po ang international incoming flights ay syempre wala ring outbound international flights,” he said.

Based on the resolution of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases seven countries were added to the Red List were cases of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant which health authorities categorized as a variant of concern.

These countries are Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, and Italy.

Inbound flights from these countries were banned to prevent the entry of the said variant.

Olalia said that POEA will issue a labor advisory to OFWs affected by the travel ban to guide them on what action to take.

Meanwhile, OFWs from the Red List countries will be allowed to return to the Philippines via repatriation flights organized by the government, the Bayanihan Flights, and flights initiated by non-government organizations.

“Kapag galing po kayo sa ibang bansa na ganyan, at ito pong flight ninyo ay isang government-initiated flight, o kaya NGO-initiated flight, o kaya Bayanihan flight na in-arrange po ng POLO o DFA. Kayo po ay papayagan namang makalapag dito kapag kayo ay OFW,” Olalia said.

The POEA said OFWs who are interested to avail of the repatriation flights may coordinate with the Philippine Embassy for the availability of slots.

OFW passengers are required to undergo the 14-day mandatory facility-based quarantine, as well as, an RT-PCR testing on the 7th day upon arrival in the Philippines. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Aileen Cerrudo)

DOLE denies deployment ban on health care workers

Maris Federez   •   November 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)  has denied reports of a deployment ban on health care workers, particularly nurses.

In a statement, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III clarified that since the deployment cap of 6,500 has already been reached, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) announced the temporary suspension of deployment.

However, there are exemptions to the said ban.

“We have already reached the current ceiling of 6,500 on the deployment of health care workers. However, OFWs under the Balik Manggagawa, government-to-government arrangements, and those who will be deployed in the United Kingdom are exempted from the suspension,” Bello said.

The labor chief also said that the lifting of the suspension is subject to the evaluation by concerned government agencies of the current situation on the deployment of healthcare workers.

“The Labor Department will confer the matter with the Professional Regulation Commission, the Philippines Nurses Association and the Department of Health should there be a need for the increase of say, another 1,500 in the existing cap,” Bello said. —/mbmf

POEA assures repatriation, assistance to 17 Pinoy seafarers stranded in China

Marje Pelayo   •   June 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) on Friday (June 25) assured the public that the 17 Filipino seafarers who got stranded in China will be repatriated at the soonest possible time.

This was announced by POEA administrator Bernard Olalia during the Laging Handa press briefing, referring to the 17 Filipino crew members of Greek-flagged bulk carrier MV Angelic Power who have been at sea for 17 months and counting.

The vessel has been grounded following a conflict between the vessel’s owner Angeliki Dynamic Investment Corp. and the cargo receiver Guangzhou South China Coal Trade Center Co.

“Ang kanilang manning agency, ang Magsaysay Manning Agency, ay nakipag-ugnayan na sa ating ahensya. Binigyan po natin sila ng instruction na agarang tumulong doon sa 17 seafarers na natengga na sila doon,” Olalia said.

“Napakatagal na nila doon. Na-deploy po sila last year bago ang pandemic. May mga restrictions lamang po sa bansang China kaya nakipag-ugnayan din tayo sa Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) upang ayusin ang kanilang documentation at i-schedule po ang kanilang flight para makabalik sa Pilipinas,” he noted.

The official added that the seafarers’ manning agency has assured the POEA that the 17 stranded Filipino seafarers will be provided compensation pending their repatriation.

“Inatasan na rin natin ang manning agency involved na ibigay ang mga sustento, ang mga food and sustenance nila upang hindi sila magutom sa kanilang barko,” Olalia assured.

“Ibibigay ang kanilang monthly salary kahit tapos na ang kanilang employment period. Ang kanilang pamilya ay tatanggap po ng allotment. Ipapadala po ng manning agency ang sweldo ng ating mga seafarers sa kani-kanilang pamilya hangga’t hindi pa po sila nakakabalik dito,” he added.

The official noted that from 15,000 seafarers deployed in January this year, the number increased to 30,000 in May which is closer to the pre-COVID-19 pandemic level of at least 40,000 a year.

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