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SBMA to cancel work permit of COVID-19-infected Chinese Pogo worker

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT –– The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) on Friday said it would cancel the special work permit it issued to a Chinese national, who worked for a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (Pogo) company here, and later tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Wilma Eisma, SBMA chair and administrator, said the 29-year-old Chinese man resigned as a customer service representative for TeleEmpire on May 31 but stayed in a hotel here with another Chinese national.

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Eisma has ordered the SBMA’s visa processing office to cancel the Special Subic-Clark Work Visa given to the two Chinese.

“We’re taking this action because once a foreign national is no longer connected with a Subic-registered company, the employer must request for a downgrading of the employee’s special work visa,” said Eisma.

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On Aug. 7, residents inside this free port raised their concerns about reports that a Chinese tourist, who was staying in a hotel, had contracted the virus. The entry of tourists here has been prohibited under quarantine rules.

Eisma said the Chinese was classified as a tourist by contact-tracers after learning that he had checked into a local hotel.

“The contact-tracers learned he was not a resident or an employed worker in the Freeport, so he was classified as a tourist.

Records from the Bureau of Immigration showed that the Chinese left the country on Oct. 12 last year. He visited his family in his hometown in Guangzhou, China, and came back to the country after three days.

The Chinese had declared that aside from the 2019 trip to China, he had not left this free port because he “had no friends outside of the zone.” INQ

Edited by LZB

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TAGS: Chinese national, Coronavirus, coronavirus disease, COVID-19, Philippine news updates, Philippine offshore gaming operator, pogo, Regions, SBMA, special work permit, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority
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