POEA ordered to temporarily suspend deployment of OFWs to Saudi Arabia

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 28, 2021   •   542

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

 

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

PH to re-deploy OFWs after South Korea lifts restrictions – DOLE

Robie de Guzman   •   November 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Overseas Filipino workers will soon be re-deployed to South Korea after entry restrictions into the country have been lifted, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said.

In a statement on Sunday, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said he has directed the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to commence the processing of deployment of workers as he welcomed the South Korean government’s decision.

“This is a very good news not only to our EPS (entry permit system) workers and their families, but also to the Korean employers who have been waiting for our workers to return,” he said.

Last Friday, Korea’s Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL) announced it will allow the entry of workers under EPS from all sending countries, including the Philippines starting this November.

According to MOEL, the entry of EPS workers will be subject to pre-entry measures such as full vaccination and negative PCR test results, and post-entry measures such as mandatory quarantine and PCR testing.

The Korean Embassy in the Philippines said it is awaiting guidelines from the South Korean government on the issuance of E9 visas to Filipino EPS workers.

Bello said he has directed the POEA to immediately meet with the Korean government officials to discuss the requirements and procedures for the re-entry of EPS workers to Korea, in coordination with the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in the Philippine Embassy in Seoul.

Since 2004, the Philippines has been sending Filipino workers to Korea under a government-to-government cooperation agreement on EPS.

The deployment of workers was temporarily halted in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic.

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