DOLE to ‘slow down’ deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait | Global News
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DOLE to ‘slow down’ deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait

By: - Reporter / @ConsINQ
/ 03:07 PM March 04, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor Employment (DOLE) said Wednesday that they would delay the deployment of Filipino migrant workers going to Kuwait after the latter’s government required passengers to present medical certificates showing they are negative for COVID-19 before entering the Middle Eastern country.

“I am going to issue an order today also scaling down our deployment to Kuwait,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a press conference when asked about DOLE’s action on Kuwaiti authorities’ issuance that mandates passengers to submit medical certificates confirming that they are free from the deadly coronavirus before entering Kuwait.

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“It is a practical order, because they will be requiring additional requirements from workers in order to prevent our workers from going there. We might as well [go] to other countries where there is no requirement,” Bello added.

To delay the workers’ deployment, the DOLE chief said they would slow down the processing of the Overseas Employment Certificate, which is an exit clearance for departing Filipino migrant workers, for one month.

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Asked if the delay would be lifted if the Kuwaiti government stops implementing the requirement, Bello said: “I think that would be likely.”

Bello said with coordination from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), they will release the official order within the day or tomorrow.

‘Impractical’

In another press conference, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the requirement is “impractical” as the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa City, the only accredited facility in the country, cannot test all overseas Filipino workers.

“Tatanggapin nila (Kuwaiti government) ang resulta ng testing from accredited facility. There is only one testing center here, which is RITM. So kailangan RITM lahat, hindi kakayanin na kahit walang symptoms ite-test natin… That is impractical,” Duque said.

(The Kuwaiti government will accept tests from accredited facility. There is only one testing center in the Philippines which is RITM. So it means RITM will accommodate all OFWs which is not possible. That is impractical.)

The Health chief said they will coordinate with the Department of Labor and Employment on the said requirement.

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TAGS: Department of Labor and Employment, deployment, Kuwait, nation, Overseas Filipino workers, process, scaling down, Silvestre Bello III
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