AMID the rapid spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) globally, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Saturday, March 28, reminded recruitment and manning agencies to closely monitor their overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Based on Memorandum Circular No. 08-2020, the POEA said all Philippine recruitment agencies (PRAs) and licensed manning agencies (LMAs) are required to keep close attention on the statuses of their deployed land-based and sea-based OFWs, respectively.
“You are hereby required to closely monitor and report the status and condition of your deployed Filipino workers and to coordinate with the concerned Philippine Overseas Labor Office in extending the needed instance to the affected workers,” said the POEA.
Based on the latest data of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), there are already 245 confirmed Covid-19 cases involving Filipinos abroad.
Among the 245, there were four that died, 133 are still undergoing treatment, while 108 have already recovered.
Similarly, the POEA said PRAs and LMAs were directed to provide assistance to their newly-hired OFWs, whose flights were cancelled due to prevailing travel restrictions.
It said newly hired OFWs stranded in Metro Manila should be provided assistance by their respective PRAs and LMAs.
“The assistance should not be limited to temporary accommodation, food, and transportation back to their provinces,” said POEA.
Earlier, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) allowed OFWs to leave for abroad anytime for the duration of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.
However, several countries continue to impose strict travel restrictions to arriving foreigners, including Filipino nationals. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)