POEA ordered to temporarily suspend deployment of OFWs to Saudi Arabia

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 28, 2021   •   608

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has directed the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to temporarily suspend the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to the  Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

The department released a memorandum stating it received reports that the departing OFWs are being required by employers or foreign recruitment agencies to shoulder the cost of the health and safety protocols related to COVID-19.

OFWs are also being made to shoulder the cost of the insurance coverage premium upon their entry to KSA.

DOLE has ordered the temporarily suspension which will be effective immediately until further notice.

Meanwhile, the department will issue an official statement on the resumption of deployment to the KSA once the issue has been clarified. AAC

 

Filipinos, Americans top holiday arrivals

Maris Federez   •   December 27, 2021

PASAY, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Monday reported that Filipinos top airport arrivals for December 2021.

BI data showed that 141,216 Filipinos, mostly overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) arrived during the holiday season, according to a BI statement released December 27.

This was followed by Americans with 12,455 arrivals, Canadians with 2,805, and Japanese with 1,645.

“This is expected since many of our kababayans who are now living abroad wish to spend the holidays here with their families,” said BI Commissioner Jaime Morente.

BI Port Operations Division Chief Atty. Carlos Capulong, meanwhile, said that arrivals for December 24 and 25 doubled compared to last year’s figures.

“Last year, there were only 5,478 arrivals for the two days, while this year, it increased 100% to 11,074 for the Christmas eve and Christmas day,” said Capulong.

“While the numbers are still relatively low, we are confident that this increase will continue until next year, given the government’s aggressive vaccination campaign,” he stated.

Capulong also thanked immigration officers who were on duty during the holiday.

“Our officers sacrifice their time with their families to render their duty and provide service for incoming and outgoing passengers,” said Capulong.

Frontliners were barred from going on vacations during the peak season, the statement said.

DOLE to inoculate 2k OFWs set for deployment

Maris Federez   •   November 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is set to conduct another round of inoculation of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) on Wednesday, (November 10).

In a statement, the DOLE said the vaccination of OFWs will be held at the Labor Governance Learning Center (LGLC), DOLE Building in Intramuros Manila.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that they have allocated some 2,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines donated by the government of Brunei to the Philippines for the inoculation of OFWs who are set for deployment.

“I personally thank the Brunei government for donating the vaccines for our general population, specifically our OFWs. This will not only help accelerate the administration of the vaccines to thousands of Filipinos but will fast-track the deployment of our OFWs abroad,” Bello said.

Although the vaccination is on a first-come, first-served basis, OFWs who will be deployed in Brunei will be prioritized.

Bello said he has directed recruitment agencies to bring unvaccinated OFW-applicants to the designated vaccination site.

The labor chief added that he has sought the assistance of the Local Health Department of the City of Manila to administer the vaccination. —/mbmf

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

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