Baldoz to OWWA: Incorporate MERS-CoV information in PDOS for OFWs

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday directed the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration to incorporate in the conduct of the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar, or PDOS, for OFWs an information, education, and communication module on the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus to raise their awareness on the deadly disease.

“To be forewarned is to be forearmed,” she said in her instruction to OWWA chief Carmelita Dimzon following the issuance by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration of an advisory to newly-newly-hired or returning overseas Filipino workers and OFWs on-site to take preventive measures against the MERS-CoV.

The OWWA and the POEA are attached agencies of the DOLE.

Baldoz said that the OWWA should craft a similar advisory to all PDOS providers, including licensed recruitment agencies, in-house PDOS centers, associations, and non-government organizations accredited by the OWWA to provide the orientation to all departing OFWs.

The PDOS is a country-specific, mandatory education and information orientation session that the government conducts for all departing OFWs to ensure that they are ready for their life of work abroad.

“While the PDOS has already a health module that provides knowledge and information on such diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Acute Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), and other infectious ailments, the MERS-CoV, being fairly news, is not included, so we better incorporate it in the PDOS,” Baldoz explained.

Administrator Dimzon said the OWWA will disseminate the advisory incorporating the MERS-CoV in the PDOS using all media, including posting it in the OWWA website so that OFWs can download it and keep copies.

“We will use the official information on the MERS-CoV coming from the Department of Health, the Mahahalagang Impormasyon sa MERS-Cov,” said Dimzon.

Earlier, the DOLE has posted this official information on the MERS-CoV in the DOLE website, www.dole.gov.ph and Secretary Baldoz has instructed all DOLE regional offices, bureaus, services, and attached agencies to do the same. She had also issued a memorandum to all Philippine Overseas Labor Offices and their staff to undertake precautionary and preventive measures against the virus.

END

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