COVID-19 temporarily shuts down 81 recruitment agency branches -- POEA | Inquirer News
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COVID-19 temporarily shuts down 81 recruitment agency branches — POEA

/ 02:28 PM December 18, 2020
Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) head Bernard Olalia. INQUIRER.NET PHOTO/CATHY MIRANDA

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) head Bernard Olalia. INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO / CATHY MIRANDA

MANILA, Philippines — The COVID-19 pandemic has so far forced the temporary closure of 81 recruitment agencies in the country, according to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

“Isa po sa apektado ng pandemyang ito ay yung overseas employment industry,” POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia said during the Laging Handa briefing on Friday.

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(Among the sectors affected by the pandemic is overseas employment.)

Citing the latest figures, Olalia said that 68 recruitment agency branches licensed with the POEA have sent notices that they would temporarily halt operations.

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Meanwhile, private recruitment agencies have notified the POEA of the temporary closure of a total of 13 main branches.

These agencies, according to Olalia, are all recruiting land-based overseas Filipino workers (OFWs.)

“Sa sea-based naman po, wala naman pong nagbigay ng notice, ang ibig pong sabihin nito hindi gaanong apektado ang ating mga sea-based agencies kumpara sa land-based,” he added.

(With agencies recruiting sea-based OFWs, we have yet to receive notice that they will be temporarily closing down. The pandemic’s effect on sea-based overseas employment is not as severe as the land-based.)

To help these agencies, Olalia said the POEA issued a governing board resolution allowing qualified recruitment agencies to withdraw part of their P1-million escrow deposit.

He said the POEA also automatically extended their license if its expiration “falls amid the pandemic.”

The labor department earlier reported that over 550,000 OFWs have been displaced by the pandemic as of Dec. 17.

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Of the number, around 370,000 have already been repatriated to their home provinces while 126,000 are awaiting repatriation.

Some 82,000 displaced OFWs opted to stay in their host country.

JPV

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TAGS: Nation, News, OFWs, Overseas employment, Overseas Filipino Workers, POEA, recruitment agencies
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