IATF allows deployment of OFWs except health workers
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has approved the deployment of sea-based and land-based overseas Filipino workers, except for health workers.
In a press briefing on Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, however, said those who would work abroad should execute a declaration signifying their knowledge and understanding of the risks involved.
"Land-based or sea-based OFWs shall be allowed to be deployed abroad," he said, citing IATF Resolution No. 36.
"Not included here are health professionals covered by the deployment ban issued by the POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration," Roque said.
Since land-based and sea-based workers are now allowed to work abroad, Roque said the recruitment and placement agencies will also be allowed to operate in areas under modified enhanced community quarantine and general community quarantine.
"The offices and agencies of the government involved in the processing of the deployment and allied services are directed to put up 'green lane' to fast-track the processing of papers of our fellowmen who will work abroad," he said.
With the coronavirus pandemic, the Philippine government suspended the deployment of OFWs.
The POEA, in a separate resolution, has temporarily suspended the sending Filipino healthcare workers, including doctors and nurses, shortly before President Rodrigo Duterte initially placed the entire Luzon, including Metro Manila, under the enhanced community quarantine by middle of March.
But the POEA order drew criticisms, thus, the IATF partially lifted the ban on the deployment of healthcare workers abroad.
The IATF had decided that all medical and allied healthcare professionals with perfected and signed overseas employment contracts as of March 8, 2020 were allowed to leave the country. Celerina Monte/DMS