POEA stays ban of OFWs to Ebola-stricken countries, but allows exemption

Date Posted: February 10th, 2015 02:10 AM



POEA stays ban of OFWs to Ebola-stricken countries, but allows exemption Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday announced that the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration’s Governing Board has issued a resolution maintaining the total ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, but allowing the processing and deployment of returning workers of UN-related organisations or international non-government/civil society organizations, subject to compliance with relevant requirements. “The ban to these countries where there is the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) stays, but there are exemptions,” said Baldoz after the Governing Board, of which she is the Chairman, approved Governing Board Resolution No. 1 Series of 2015, which reiterated the ban. Aside from Baldoz, POEA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac, Governing Board Vice Chairman; Estrellita Hizon, Alexander Asuncion, Felix M. Oca, and Milagros Isabel A. Cristobal, Governing Board members signed the resolution. In issuing the resolution, the Governing Board cited the 8 January 2015 letter of the Department of Foreign Affairs which recommended the 21-day mandatory quarantine for returning OFWs from the three Ebola Virus Disease-affected countries, and the further maintenance of Alert Level 3 status for the said countries. “In the same letter, the DFA recommended the stay of the ban, but allowing the return to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone of Filipinos working for UN-related organizations, or international non-government/civil society organizations, provided they execute a statement that they are returning to these countries against government advice,” said Baldoz. “Their employers also need to issue an undertaking that they will be responsible for the treatment and repatriation of the returning Filipinos in the event they are infected,” she added. It can be recalled that the POEA Governing Board in 2014 issued Resolutions No. 14 on 4 July 2014 imposing a temporary suspension on the processing and deployment of newly-hired OFWs to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, and allow the processing and deployment of vacationing/returning workers there, on account of the spread of EVD, an extremely contagious disease. Then on 8 December 2014, the Governing Board imposed a total deployment ban for all Filipinos bound for the three countries and instructing Filipinos already there to return to the Philippines. Baldoz emphasized that Republic Act No. 1002 authorises the POEA Governing Board, after consultation with the DFA, to impose a ban on the deployment of migrant Filipino workers in pursuit of national interest, or when public welfare so requires. END



Created Mar 11th 2015, 14:58

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