Philippine delegation visits Kuwait to meet counterparts

admin   •   May 9, 2018   •   4402

(SOURCE: Office of the Presidential Spokesperson)

The Philippine delegation led by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello and Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque went to Kuwait Tuesday night.

Bello together with Roque, and other Philippine representatives met with Kuwait interior ministry officials.

Both camps look forward to the normalization of ties and a memorandum of agreement is expected to be signed and agreed upon after the meeting.

It was also reported that Kuwait agreed to create a special unit within the police that the Philippine embassy can coordinate with regarding complaints of Filipino workers which will be available 24 hours.

The meeting also sought for the release of four drivers who are detained after the controversial rescue mission of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

It was also guaranteed that all remaining undocumented Filipinos except with pending cases will be allowed to go home and 150 of them will be joining the Philippine officials in returning to the Philippines. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

Hong Kong to allow vaccinated OFWs starting August 30

Marje Pelayo   •   August 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino workers who have been vaccinated in the Philippines will be allowed to enter Hong Kong starting next week upon presentation of vaccination certificates issued by the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said on Sunday.

“The HK government has already agreed to let overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who received COVID vaccines in the country to come and work starting August 30, provided they can present validated covid vaccine certificates issued by the BOQ,” DOLE said in a statement.

This latest development is set to benefit 3,000 OFWs who are awaiting deployment to HK, the agency added.

Once they arrive in Hong Kong, they will undergo quarantine in specific hotels but the expenses will be shouldered by their respective employers.

The Hong Kong government is also coordinating with partner hotels to arrange quarantine accommodations for OFWs.

Filipino workers recently had issues with their employment in Hong Kong after its government refused to allow entry to Filipinos due to varying vaccination certificates issued by their respective local governments.

As requested by the Hong Kong government, the BOQ provided a draft vaccination certificate bearing the holder’s passport details.

Pending inclusion of that detail in the yellow card, the Hong Kong immigration will honor the vaccination certificates issued by the BOQ for incoming OFWs to Hong Kong.

Over 500K OFWs repatriated amid COVID-19 pandemic – DOLE

Robie de Guzman   •   June 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government has brought home around 564,000 overseas Filipino workers amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said Thursday.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said around 130,000 OFWs, whose jobs were affected by the public health crisis, remain in their host countries, but up to 80,000 of them have refused to return to the Philippines.

“They opted to stay, especially those in Europe, and that’s very understandable kasi alam mo naman sa Europe ‘yung kanilang insurance benefits umaabot ng 1 to 1/2 years kaya kampante sila,” Bello said at a Palace press briefing.

“Pero meron pa naman tayong mga around siguro umaabot pa ng mga 50,000 na kababayan na naghihintay ng repatriation,” he added.

The labor chief said up to 1,500 Filipinos are being repatriated daily but it could have gone up to 2,000 to 3,000 if not for the Inter-Agency Task Force’s resolution setting a cap on inbound international passengers at 1,500 per day.

“Kaya ganoon kahirap trabaho ng OWWA at ganoon kapuno ang ating mga hotels as the facilities of our OFWs,” he said.

Bello, meanwhile, assured that Filipino seafarers, particularly those who recovered from COVID-19, would still be able to get employed again.

“It’s high time that we Filipinos realized na ‘yung ating Filipino seafarers are the most preferred seafarers in the world. Hinahabol ‘yung ating mga seafarers kaya ‘yung kanilang chance for re-employment ay napakataas,” he said.

He also expressed confidence that proposals to inoculate OFWs with single-dose COVID-19 vaccine would help speed up the deployment of Filipino migrant workers.

“I thank (vaccine czar) Secretary (Carlito) Galvez for thinking of a process na ang ating mga OFW ay one dosage na lang sila and that will facilitate the deployment of our OFWs especially seafarers,” he said.

Deployment of OFWs to Israel remains suspended for three more weeks — DOLE

Marje Pelayo   •   May 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has extended to three more weeks the suspension on the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Israel.

According to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, the agency needs to make sure that all OFWs bound for Israel would be safe and the truce between Israel and Hamas is sincerely being carried out by both parties.

“Give it another two or three weeks at ma-maintain talaga ang strict observance of the ceasefire agreement between Israel and the Palestinian and the Hamas then we will already consider giving the OFWs the OEC which is the final document for their deployment,” Bello assured.

Once the suspension is lifted, about 400 caregivers may be accepted right away as stipulated under the Philippines and Israel’s bilateral agreement.

This is in addition to around 30,000 OFWs in Israel who are mostly caregivers.

To date, no Filipinos are hurt or killed in the ongoing unrest. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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