OWWA: Employment of OFWs not affected by COVID-19 epidemic
MANILA, Philippines — The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak has not affected the employment of Filipinos abroad, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said Monday.
“Wala naman tayong nakikitang epekto nito (We don’t see any effect of this). Of course, we will carefully observe together with the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) ‘yung (the) labor market forces in affected countries. But so far there have been no negative signals in the sense na magbabawas sila or ayaw na nila ng Filipino (that they will lessen or they don’t like Filipinos anymore),” OWWA Administrator Hans Cacdac said in a Palace briefing.
The OWWA chief said the “pull” of foreign employers in areas affected by COVID-19 is “greater than ever” after Filipino crewmen of the MV Diamond Princess exhibited exemplary work ethic and continued to work even as the crew and passengers of the ship have been placed under quarantine.
“‘Yung mga (Those) Diamond Princess seafarers, sabi ni (Labor) Sec. (Silvestre) Bello nung isang araw ino-nominate niya (said the other day that he will nominate) for the Bagong Bayani Award kasi (because) kung hindi ninyo naitatanong, while everybody on that ship is on quarantine they were asked to work and serve the 3,000 passengers,” Cacdac said.
A total of 445 Filipinos have been repatriated last week by the government from Japan following their 14-day isolation aboard the COVID-19-stricken MV Diamond Princess docked off Yokohama.
OWWA said that as of Monday, it already released over P84 million relief assistance to OFWs who were affected by the temporary travel ban to China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.
In the same press briefing, the Department of Health reported that there are a total of 86 confirmed COVID-19 cases among OFWs around the globe. Japan had the most cases of OFWs found with COVID-19, totaling to 80 from which 48 are still admitted as 32 were already discharged. The United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, and Singapore follow with two cases each.
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