Philippine government focused on bringing jobs back for overseas Filipinos, ready to engage with foreign governments

Overseas Filipinos return to the Philippines, repatriated by the Department of Foreign Affairs. Photo from DFA OUMWA

The Philippine government will exhaust all measures to help support overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to regain jobs they lost abroad due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic.

This mission was recently assured by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III as the possibility of OFWs being rehired by their former employers gained significant progress with the reopening of economies all around the world.

“Many governments went ahead of us in easing restrictions. Their industries are almost fully operational again by now. They could recall our OFWs anytime,” Bello said.

Should that happen, the labor department is fully committed to provide assistance required by OFWs. The labor chief noted that the government is able and ready to engage with foreign governments with new policies on migrant workers with regards to safety and health measures against the deadly virus.

“They might ask more requirements from our OFWs like government certifications to prove they are not a threat to the health and safety of their people. We can do that,” Bello said.

Further, Secretary Bello also raised the possibilities that OFWs could be rehired in large quantities by economies that are fast recovering, which he said, “would require transportation and if our OFWs need chartered flights we will do our best to come up with enough logistics for that.”

Experts from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) noted the pandemic could trigger stricter health and safety rules among recovering economies against workers from countries with weak anti-CoVid 19 system.

As such, Bello said the Philippines has nothing to worry about the government’s way of dealing with the pandemic as it has already shown to sustain a strong and effective response against the outbreak.

“The last time we checked our health system and responses to control the virus, we’re just doing fine,” he said.

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