The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration yesterday advised overseas Filipino workers, particularly those employed in South Korea, to register with their local government units for vaccination against the coronavirus disease 2019.
“Please be informed that Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases Resolution No. 117, series of 2021, covers Employment Permit System Korea Workers (Sincere and Regular workers) with signed, valid employment contracts, and pending for processing with the Government Placement Branch of POEA. Concerned workers to be deployed for overseas employment to Korea are advised to register themselves with their respective local government units for vaccination,” POEA chief Bernard Olalia said in an advisory.
OFWs who will be deployed in the next four months are now included in the government’s A1 vaccination priority group.
He added that South Korea recognizes several Covid-19 vaccine brands that were approved by the World Health Organization.
“As per information received from the Human Resources Development Service Korea – EPS Center Philippines, there are seven approved vaccine brands by WHO which are recognized by the Republic of Korea: Pfizer BioNTech, AstraZeneca-SK Bio, Serum Institute of India, Janssen, Moderna, Sinopharm, and Sinovac,” it added.
The POEA urged OFWs to continue to monitor the GPB Facebook accounts at GPB in Action and GovPlace for updates on the processing of documents.
Meanwhile, the government said it has repatriated over 600,000 OFWs displaced by the Covid-19 pandemic since May 2020.
There are also about 70,000 to 130,000 more OFWs expected to return, aside from those who regularly go home to take their vacations.
Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac reported on Monday that 612,000 Filipinos have been sent to their home provinces.
“There are 612,000 Filipinos who came home due to the pandemic and have been transported back to their home regions,” Cacdac said during the Laging Handa briefing.
He said OWWA still has a budget until September. Beyond that, the agency will ask for additional funding.
“We have received a replenishment of P5.2 billion which will be good until the end of the third quarter. It was approved by President Rodrigo Duterte through the Department of Budget and Management. We’re good until September,” Cacdac said.
About 100 OFWs have already availed of the seven-day special quarantine period approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force.
“The quarantine protocol is for those who came from the 57 green-listed countries,” Cacdac said.
Green countries are classified by the Department of Health as low-risk countries or jurisdictions based on the Covid-19 incidence rate.
These include Albania, American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Benin, Belize, The British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cayman Islands, Chad, China, Cote d’ Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Eswatini, Falkland Islands, French Polynesia, Gambia, Ghana, Greenland, Grenada, Hong Kong, Iceland, Isle of Man, Israel, Laos, Liberia, Malawi, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Rwanda, Saba, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Singapore, Sint Eustatius, South Korea, Taiwan, Togo, Turks and Caicos Islands, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.*PNA