News Release
Department of Labor and Employment
May 27, 2020

Task force to speed up ‘Hatid-Probinsiya,’ ‘Balik-Abroad’

The labor department has formed task groups to help expedite the movement of overseas Filipino workers from various quarantine facilities to their respective home destinations, and facilitate the speedy processing of outbound workers.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III ordered the designation of additional personnel from DOLE’s regional and attached agencies to beef up the manpower requirement of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration in ensuring the smooth land and air transport and monitoring of OFWs from various quarantine facilities to their respective home destinations.

The move came following a directive from President Duterte to immediately send home all OFWs who tested negative for COVID-19 conducted by the Philippine Coast Guard and the Red Cross.

About 24,000 OFWs have been kept in government quarantine facilities since their return to the country. Most workers had complained of the slow release of their results and clearances after weeks and even months of quarantine and tests.

In an administrative order, Bello also formed a separate task group to ease the processing of outbound land and sea-based workers whose country of destination has lifted the restrictions on the employment of foreign workers.

“We are doing this so as we don’t lose the jobs for our OFWs, while at the same time we help facilitate the quick homecoming and be of assistance to our returning workers,” Bello said.

He also said that the government did not intend to inconvenience the returning OFWs with their prolonged quarantine and delayed test results. “DOLE and OWWA simply had no control over the testing and issuance of clearances,” he said.

Aside from facilitating the processing of inbound and outbound OFWs, the ‘hatid-probinsya’ and ‘balik-abroad’ task groups will serve as monitoring offices for onsite OFWs and those seeking repatriation.

The task groups are housed in a central command Center manned by the heads of OWWA, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and DOLE’s International Labor Affairs Bureau. The Center will be supervised by former labor secretary Marianito Roque and assisted by three labor undersecretaries. ###

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Task force binuo upang ‘Hatid-Probinsiya,’ ‘Balik-Abroad’ mapabilis

Bumuo ng task force ang Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) na magpapabilis sa pag-uwi ng mga overseas Filipino worker mula sa iba’t ibang quarantine facility patungo sa kanilang mga tirahan at pabilisin ang pagpoproseso ng mga manggagawang paalis ng bansa.

Ipinag-utos ni Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III ang pagdaragdag ng mga tauhan mula sa mga regional at attached agency ng DOLE upang mapalakas ang kinakailangang kawani ng Overseas Workers Welfare Administration at matiyak ang mabilis na land at air transport, maging ang pagpoproseso sa mga OFW mula sa mga quarantine facility pauwi sa kanilang mga tirahan.

Ginawa ang hakbangin kasunod ng direktiba ni Pangulong Duterte na agad mapauwi ang lahat ng mga OFW na nag-negatibo sa COVID-19 test na isinagawa ng Philippine Coast Guard at Red Cross.

Tinatayang aabot sa 24,000 OFW ang nasa mga quarantine facility ng pamahalaan mula ng sila ay bumalik sa bansa. Karamihan sa mga manggagawa ay nagreklamo na dahil sa mabagal na paglalabas ng mga resulta at clearance kasabay ng ilang linggo at buwan ng pananatili sa quarantine matapos ang mga test.

Sa isang administrative order, bumuo si Bello ng hiwalay na task group upang mapabilis ang pagpoproseso ng mga paalis na land at sea-based na manggagawa na papunta sa mga bansang inalis na ang pagbabawal sa pagtatrabaho ng mga dayuhang manggagawa.

“Ginagawa natin ito upang hindi tuluyang mawalan ng trabaho ang ating mga OFW at nang sa gayon ay mabilis ring makauwi ang mga pabalik na OFW sa ating bansa,” wika ni Bello.

Sinabi rin niya na hindi intensyon ng gobyerno na makadagdag abala sa mga pauwing OFW dahil sa pananatili sa quarantine at delay sa resulta ng mga test. “Hindi kontrolado ng DOLE at OWWA ang testing at ang pag-iisyu ng clearance,” dagdag pa niya.

Liban sa pagtulong sa pagpoproseso sa mga paparating at paalis na OFW, ang mga task group para sa ‘hatid-probinsya’ at ‘balik-abroad’ ay magsisilbi rin bilang monitoring office para sa mga OFWs na hihingi ng tulong para sa repatriation.

Ang mga task group ay nakadestino sa central command Center na pinamumunuan ng mga opisyal mula sa OWWA, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) at ang International Labor Affairs Bureau ng DOLE. Ang Center ay pangangasiwaan naman ni dating labor secretary Marianito Roque at ng tatlong undersecretary ng kagawaran. #Paul Ang

 

 

 

 

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