Gov’t allows seafarers to return to work — Labor chief
MANILA, Philippines — There is no loss of employment opportunities for returning seafarers as the government’s task force has allowed their possible re-employment despite restrictions due to the spread of COVID-19, Labor chief Silvestre Bello III said Tuesday.
“’Yun pong pinauwi nating 600 plus, puro mga seafarers ‘yun. Walang problema ang kanilang employment opportunities dahil sa ngayon pineprepare na ang pag-re-employ sa kanila, dadalhin ng mga manning agencies ‘yan,” Bello said in a press briefing at Clark, Pampanga on Tuesday.
(The more than 600 repatriated workers were seafarers. They won’t have employment problems because we are now preparing for their reemployment. The manning agencies will fix that.)
“In fact, may sumulat nga kahapon kay (Defense) Secretary (Delfin) Lorenzana na manning agencies na kung maaari payagan, pahintulutan ang mga seafarers natin na ma-deploy ulit. Hindi nila alam na mayroong desisyon ang IATF (Interagency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) na pwede na magdeploy ulit ng mga seafarers,” he added.
(In fact, some manning agencies have appealed to Lorenzana to allow seafarers to be deployed again. What they do not know is the IATF has already allowed seafarers to be deployed.)
Bello, however, did not specify the details for the repatriated seafarers.
Bello said they are now preparing for the assistance of Filipino migrant workers who were already fired or have difficulties in finding job opportunities.
“So walang problema sa seafarers; problema natin OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) natin pero meron namang program ang OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) ‘yung itinatawag nating national integrated program,” he said.
(There are no problems with seafarers; our concern is with the other OFWs, but they will be assisted by the OWWA which we call the national integrated program.)
“Unang benefit diyan immediate cash assistance, pangalawa livelihood assistance, pangatlo, education assistance. ‘Yun ang nakahandang tulong sa OFW,” Bello added.
(Our first benefit there is immediate cash assistance, second is livelihood assistance, and third is education assistance. These are the aid for the OFWs.)
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