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.