Deployment of OFWs to Israel temporarily suspended — Bello

Marje Pelayo   •   May 17, 2021   •   290

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has announced that the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Israel is temporarily suspended due to the ongoing violence between Israeli forces and the Hamas militant group.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the safety of Filipinos is the government’s utmost concern at this time.

Most of the OFWs working in the Jewish country are caregivers and hotel workers.

Given the situation, Bello urges the Filipinos bound for Israel to wait until the tension subsides.

“Medyo maghintay-hintay lang po tayo dahil sa hindi magandang kondisyon sa Israel na patutunguhan natin ay meron muna tayong precautionary suspension ng deployment doon,” he said.

The official said quick response teams are on standby to rescue Filipinos who will be caught in the violence.

So far, there are no Filipinos injured or killed in the conflict, Bello confirmed.

However, Bello noted that while the Philippine government is ready should there be calls for repatriation, some OFWs opt to stay despite the dangers.

“Kasi yung mga iba nilipat na sa Egypt. Iyong safer place nilipat sila. libo-libo na yan nasa shelter lahat yan. We are ready to repatriate them merong rapid response team,” he added.

Alert Level 1 is still raised in Israel while Level 2 is raised in the Gaza Strip.

Mandatory repatriation will be triggered when the alert levels are elevated to 3 and 4.MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Israeli experts visit PH COVID-19 vaccination, storage sites

Robie de Guzman   •   June 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – A team of health experts from Israel on Wednesday visited some vaccination sites and cold chain storage facilities in Metro Manila as part of the efforts to assess and help the Philippine government improve its strategies in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The team of Israeli experts inspected a vaccination hub set up at the Solaire Theater in Parañaque City for the private sector, as well as some cold storage facilities being used in the government’s vaccination program.

They were accompanied by Inter-Agency Task Force and Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., testing czar Vince Dizon and other government officials.

Roque said the team of experts from Israel is in the country to share their strategies and methods in fighting the pandemic, as well as addressing vaccine hesitancy.

“We need to learn from Israel kasi Israel successfully achieved containment [of the coronavirus] and we want to learn from what they did to achieve containment,” he said.

Galvez earlier said that the Israeli delegation’s visit aims to help the government develop more improved strategies on data management, deployment methods, and transition to new normal.

The NTF and Israeli experts initially met at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on Monday to discuss vaccination and jab logistics management.

Galvez said that so far, the team has shared key strategies to effectively contain virus transmission and reduce active cases within communities.

Roque said a press conference dedicated for the Israeli visitors will be held on Thursday where they can share their observations and recommendations on the Philippines’ vaccination drive.

The Philippine government would adopt some Israeli strategies to further improve the country’s vaccine deployment and data management, he added.

“Ang talagang gusto nilang makita is how we actually implementing the vaccination which is ongoing right now… Alam nyo naman sa Israel wala na ngayong mask in public places dahil mayroon na silang containment, mayroon na silang population protection that’s why they are here as our guest and as our resource person because we want to achieve that state,” Roque said.

The delegation from the Israeli Ministry of Health has been in the Philippines for four days now. They arrived last Sunday and will stay until Friday, June 25. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Janice Ingente)

DOLE, may alok na insentibo para sa mga bakunadong essential workers vs COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   June 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Mamamahagi ng bisikleta at cellphone na may load ang Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) bilang insentibo sa mga essential worker na makakakumpleto ng kanilang bakuna kontra COVID-19.

Ayon kay DOLE Bureau of Workers Special Concern (BWSC) director Atty. Ma. Karina Perida-Trarvilla, bahagi ito ng mga hakbang ng kagawaran para maenganyo ang mga manggagawang kasama sa A4 group na magpabakuna laban sa coronavirus disease.

“It’s actually pursuant to the instruction of the (DOLE) Secretary (Silvestre Bello III) that we come up [with] this incentive for our A4, economic frontliners to entice them to submit themselves to vaccination at nadeploy na nga tayo ng vaccination program for A4 noong June 7. Gusto natin maraming maengganyo na mabakunahan,” ani Perida-Trayvilla.

Aniya, uumpisahan ng DOLE sa Hulyo 1 ang pamamahagi ng 2,000 bisikleta at cellphone na may load sa A4 workers na fully vaccinated na kontra COVID-19.

Target ng programa ang mga nasa informal sector na namamasukan sa mga pribadong kumpanya, pati na ang household helpers at self-employed.

Ngunit paglilinaw ng kagawaran, sa halip na sa manggagawang nagpabakuna, ibibigay ang insentibo sa sinomang miyembro ng kanyang pamilya o kamag-anak.

“Kase nga po yung mga A4 workers natin may trabaho naman diba yung bibigyan po natin nitong bike yung kanilang next of kin or yung kanyang relative… Gusto kase nating gamitin nila ang bisikleta pawang pang livelihood,” ani Perida-Trayvilla.

Tig-isang libong bisikleta na may kasamang insulation bags, protective helmet, reflective vest, cellphone na may load wallet ang ilalaan sa mga benepisyaryo sa National Capital Region at sa mga probinsya.

“Hindi lang po iyan, yung makakatanggap ng bisikleta ii-enroll rin po natin siya sa group personal accident insurance or GPAI kase nga magla-livelihood siya mai-expose din siya sa risk kailangan mai-insure natin sila,” ani Perida-Trayvilla.

Para sa mga interesadong makakuha ng nasabing incentives, makipag-ugnayan lamang sa BWSC sa numerong 84043336 o di kaya ay mag-email sa mail@bwsc.dole.gov.ph.

Magpresenta lamang ng alin mang government o company id at vaccination card na patunay na fully vaccinated ang isang manggagawa.

Sa susunod na linggo, inaasahang matatapos na ng BWSC ang mechanics para sa nasabing livelihood program. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Janice Ingente)

DOLE eyes expanding HCW deployment cap to 10k

Marje Pelayo   •   June 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) eyes increasing the current deployment cap on healthcare workers (HCW) to 5,000 more and make it 10,000 per year.

“Naniniwala ako right now na we have enough number of nurses kaya I’m willing to recommend na itaas ang deployment cap from 5,000 to another 5,000,” said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III in response to the request of HCW who wish to seek employment abroad.

Recently, the government has stopped the deployment of new medical workers abroad after the number reached the 5,000-limit.

Bello assured that should his recommendation be approved, the country would not come short of healthcare workers.

He stressed, however, that the decision still remains with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

The Filipino Nurses United is pleased with the proposal as this would provide more opportunities for them to seek greener pastures abroad.

However, they still want the removal of the deployment cap and let all Filipino healthcare workers explore employment opportunities in other countries.

“Sa tingin po namin merong sapat in terms of number. Ang problema po ay yung paghikayat ng gobyerno na magtrabaho sila as nurses sa ating mga healthcare facilities,” said Jocelyn Andamo, Secretary-General of the Filipino Nurses United.

The group said there are still around 200,000 nurses in the country who work outside their profession and earn below what they deserve being professional nurses.

Since the deployment cap was imposed, around 4,000 nurses were not able to process their documents for employment abroad. -MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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