News Release
Department of Labor and Employment
June 6, 2021

Vaccine not a condition for Singapore-bound OFWs

Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) bound for Singapore are not required to get inoculated against COVID-19 before they are allowed into the city-state, the labor department reported on Sunday.

Labor Attaché in Singapore Saul De Vries said that while the government of Singapore is implementing strict quarantine protocols due to the recurrence of COVID-19 cases, vaccine is not part of the arrival protocols in the city-state.

“It is not a condition for OFWs to be inoculated before departing for their jobs. However, the Singapore government requires them to undergo a 21-day institutional quarantine and take RT-PCR test thrice,” De Vries said.

Following the recurrence of cases, De Vries said the Singapore government has temporarily suspended the entry approval applications of foreign workers from high-risk countries.

“Hopefully, such regulation or policy will be reviewed this coming July when cases of COVID-19 infection have slowed down,” he added.

Based on the Labor Department’s records, there are around 200,000 Filipinos in Singapore, 180,000 of whom consist of professionals, skilled workers, household service workers, healthcare workers, and those working in the service sector of the tourism and information technology industries.

De Vries also announced that POLO-Singapore has recently approved over 200 job orders (JOs) for vaccinators with a monthly salary, ranging from 1,800 to 2,000 SGD or equivalent to a little over P63,000.

“Aside from the 200 vaccinators, the demand for household service workers is still high in Singapore,” he added.

While it is not mandatory for OFWs to be vaccinated before they enter Singapore, De Vries said that migrant workers are included in the vaccination program of the government. OFWs are therefore highly encouraged to get inoculated, as this is the best way to fight the spread of the virus.

“I believe that most if not all, of our OFWs in the health care industry have already been vaccinated, since they are included in the priority group listing,” De Vries said.

The POLO official intimated that the pandemic scaled down POLO operations in 2020. There are about 6,000 to 10,000 OFWs who have been displaced from their jobs, while the deployment rate has plummeted to 80% or from 140,000 to 30,000 last year.

This however, did not deter POLO Singapore from providing essential services to OFWs. POLO managed to distribute financial assistance of $200 or P10,000 under DOLE’s Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) program to OFWs who either lost their jobs or experienced wage reduction, as well as those who contracted COVID-19.

Food packs and essential hygiene kits have been provided while physical and mental health and wellness activities have been conducted for migrant Filipino workers to help them cope with their daily lives while community quarantines are enforced.

“Since many of them were displaced and stranded due to the pandemic, we assisted them in extending their special passes by closely coordinating with the immigration authorities to keep their stay legal as much as possible,” De Vries said. #

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Bakuna hindi kondisyon para sa mga OFW patungong Singapore

Hindi kinakailangang magpabakuna kontra Covid-19 ang mga overseas Filipino worker na tutungo sa Singapore, ulat ng labor department.

Sa pahayag ni Saul De Vries, labor attaché sa Singapore, bagama’t mahigpit na ipinatutupad ng pamahalaang Singapore ang quarantine protocol dahil sa muling pagdami ng mga kaso ng Covid-19, ang bakuna ay hindi bahagi ng protocol para sa mga dumarating sa nasabing bansa.

“Hindi ito kondisyon para sa mga OFW na dapat ay nabakunahan muna bago sila umalis para sa kanilang trabaho. Gayunpaman, hinihiling ng pamahalaan ng Singapore na sumailalim sila sa 21-araw na institutional quarantine at sumailalim sa RT-PCR test ng tatlong beses,” wika ni De Vries.

Kasunod ng pag-ulit ng mga kaso, sinabi ni De Vries na pansamantalang sinususpinde ng pamahalaang Singapore ang pag-apruba sa aplikasyon ng mga dayuhang manggagawa mula sa mga bansang may mataas na kaso ng Covid.

“Inaasahan namin na muling pag-aaralan ang nasabing regulasyon o polisiya ngayong darating na Hunyo kung saan bumababa na ang kaso ng Covid-19,” dagdag niya.

Batay sa record ng Labor Department, may 200,000 Filipino sa Singapore, at 180,000 dito ay binubuo ng professionals, skilled workers, household service workers, healthcare workers, at iyong nagtatrabaho sa service sector sa industriya ng turismo at information technology.

Iniulat din ni De Vries na inaprobahan kamakailan ng POLO-Singapore ang mahigit 200 job order para sa mga vaccinator na may buwanang sahod, mula 1,800 hanggang 2,000 SGD o may katumbas na hindi bababa sa P63,000.

“Bukod sa 200 vaccinator, mataas pa rin ang demand para sa household service worker sa Singapore,” dagdag niya.

Bamaga’t hindi sapilitan para sa mga OFW na magpabakuna bago pumasok ng Singapore, sinabi ni De Vries na kabilang ang mga migranteng manggagawa sa vaccination program ng pamahalaan. Kaya hinihikayat ang mga OFW na magpabakuna dahil ito ang pinakamainam na paraan para mapigilan ang pagkalat ng virus.

“Naniniwala ako na nabakunahan na ang karamihan ng ating OFW sa healthcare industry, dahil kabilang sila sa priority group listing,” pahayag pa ni De Vries.

Sinabi ng opisyal ng POLO na naapektuhan ang operasyon ng POLO noong 2020 dahil sa pandemya. May 6,000 hanggang 10,000 OFW ang nawalan ng trabaho, samantalang bumaba ang deployment rate ng 80 porsiyento o mula 140,000 naging 30,000 ng nakaraang taon

Ngunit hindi ito naging balakid para sa POLO Singapore na ibigay ang mga kinakailangang serbisyo para sa mga OFW. Pinangasiwaan ng POLO ang pamamahagi ng tulong-pinansiyal na $200 o P10,000 sa ilalim ng programa ng DOLE na Abot-Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) para sa mga OFW na nawalan ng trabaho o nabawasan ang kanilang sahod, gayundin ang mga nagkasakit ng Covid-19.

Namahagi sila ng food pack at hygiene kit at nagsagawa ng aktibidad para sa physical, mental health at wellness para sa mga migranteng Filipinong manggagawa upang tulungan silang makaagapay sa kanilang pang-araw-araw na pamumuhay habang ipinatutupad ang community quarantine.

“Dahil marami sa kanila ang nawalan ng trabaho o na-stranded dahil sa pandemya, tinulungan namin silang mabigyan ng special passes sa pakikipagtulungan ng immigration authority para hanggat’ maaari ay maging legal ang kanilang pananatili,” wika ni De Vries. #

 

 

 

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