Department of Labor and Employment
November 8, 2021
DOLE sets inoculation of 2k OFWs
The Labor Department is set to conduct another round of inoculation of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) on Wednesday at the Labor Governance Learning Center (LGLC), DOLE Building in Intramuros Manila.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said some 2,000 doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines donated by the government of Brunei to the Philippines have been allocated for the inoculation of OFWs who are set for deployment.
Bello expressed his gratitude to the government of Brunei on behalf of the Philippines for the vaccine donation.
“I personally thank the Brunei government for donating the vaccines for our general population, specifically our OFWs. This will not only help accelerate the administration of the vaccines to thousands of Filipinos but will fast-track the deployment of our OFWs abroad,” Bello said.
The vaccination is on a first come, first served basis, but those OFWs who will be deployed in Brunei will be prioritized.
Bello added that the recruitment agencies in the country have been directed to bring unvaccinated OFW-applicants to the designated vaccination site.
The labor chief has sought the assistance of the Local Health Department of the City of Manila to administer the vaccination.
On another development, Bello denied reports on the imposition of a deployment ban of health care workers, particularly nurses. Since the deployment cap of 6,500 has already been reached, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) announced the temporary suspension of deployment.
“We have already reached the current ceiling of 6,500 on the deployment of health care workers. However, OFWs under the Balik Manggagawa, government-to-government arrangements, and those who will be deployed in the United Kingdom are exempted from the suspension,” Bello clarified.
He also said that the lifting of the suspension is subject to the evaluation of the current situation on the deployment of healthcare workers by concerned government agencies.
“The Labor Department will confer the matter with the Professional Regulation Commission, the Philippines Nurses Association (PNA) and the Department of Health (DOH) should there be a need for the increase of say, another 1,500 in the existing cap,” the Labor Chief said. ##