There is no massive loss of employment of overseas Filipino workers amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) threat, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said Wednesday.
“That’s fake news. That’s not true. We are not losing workers overseas. There is none except for (a few) requests for repatriation. There’s nothing like that especially if you’re talking of Hong Kong (HK), Japan, Macau and even Taiwan,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a press briefing.
Bello, however, said there are isolated cases where some OFWs became unemployed after their employers have relocated.
“The incidents of some of our workers losing their jobs is because their employers are not permanent residents of HK. They are the ones who have left so they have to let go of their workers. But it’s not very hard for them to find employment. In fact, our workers in Hong Kong have become very (indispensable),” Bello said.
He was referring to the Hong Kong protests last year which barely affected OFWs on the island.
“So we are not alarmed of any possible employment loss to our overseas workers in Hong Kong,” Bello added.
He also said the government is ready to help workers who would like to return home and avail of assistance.
“But we are prepared in case there is a need to repatriate them, we are prepared to repatriate them and we are prepared to extend to the, our preparation and reintegration program,” he added.
Among the benefits to be given to OFWs are: financial or cash assistance, livelihood assistance worth PHP20,000, scholarship to their children.
OFWs are exempted from the government’s travel ban to Hong Kong, Macau as well as in North Gyeongsang province, Daegu City and Cheongdo county in South Korea due to the Covid-19 threat. (PNA)