Ebola virus stops new OFW hires
MANILA, Philippines–The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) is temporarily suspending the processing and deployment of newly hired overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) bound for three West African countries—Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone—as the deadly Ebola outbreak in the region has worsened.
“We will be banning new hires to those three countries,” said Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, adding that POEA Administrator Hans Cacdac was drafting the resolution on the deployment ban.
The Department of Foreign Affairs earlier raised to Level 2 the crisis alert level in the three countries, advising the more than 2,000 Filipinos there to restrict their movements, avoid public places and take extra precaution.
However, the deployment of returning OFWs with existing employment contracts will remain open, said Baldoz.
“Only returning overseas Filipino workers (balik manggagawa) with existing employment contracts will be allowed to go back to their host countries,” she said.
The Ebola virus is a highly contagious disease with no known cure. There have been 600 cases of the Ebola virus in West Africa, with 400 deaths.–Tina G. Santos
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