2 senators call out POLO for seeking deportation of caregiver in Taiwan
MANILA, Philippines — Two senators have called out the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) for seeking the deportation of an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in Taiwan over alleged cyber libel for her “nasty and malevolent” Facebook posts against President Rodrigo Duterte.
In a statement over the weekend, the country’s labor attaché in Taiwan accused a Filipina caregiver of cyber libel, saying that her posts against the President “intended to cause hatred” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
But in separate posts on Twitter, Senators Risa Hontiveros and Joel Villanueva said POLO should just focus on extending assistance to OFWs in the wake of the crisis.
“Balikan din natin ang tungkulin ng POLO at ito ay ang pagtuunan ng pansin ang mga problemang kinakaharap ng mga kababayan natin OFWs, lalo na sa panahon ng crisis,” Hontiveros said on Monday.
(The mandate of POLO is to focus on the problems faced by our OFWs, especially in this time of crisis).
Kung maaari ay i-review nating maigi ang policy sa deportation.
Balikan din natin ang tungkulin ng POLO at ito ay ang pagtuunan ng pansin ang mga problemang kinakaharap ng mga kababayan natin OFWs, lalo na sa panahon ng crisis.
— risa hontiveros (@risahontiveros) April 27, 2020
POLO should look more closely into the reported abuse of employers to OFWs, the senator stressed.
“Sana mas bigyang-pansin ng Philippine Overseas Labor Office o POLO ang pang-aabuso ng mga employers sa mga kababayan nating OFW,” Hontiveros said.
(Hopefully, they would focus more on looking into reports about employers abusing our OFWs.)
“Mas kailangang solusyonan ng POLO ang kapakanan ng mga OFWs sa gitna ng COVID-19 at panggigipit sa trabaho,” she added.
(POLO needs to prioritize the welfare of our OFWs in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.)
Villanueva, likewise, urged POLO to prioritize the distribution of cash aid for Filipino migrant workers affected by the pandemic.
“Philippine Overseas Labor Office has only assisted 12% of the displaced OFW workers who applied for cash assistance (AKAP),” the senator, chair of the Senate labor committee, said in a separate tweet on Sunday.
Philippine Overseas Labor Office has only assisted 12% of the displaced OFW workers who applied for cash assistance (AKAP). This should be prioritized instead of focusing against OFW social media posts. #Priorities
— Joel Villanueva (@senatorjoelv) April 26, 2020
“This should be prioritized instead of focusing against OFW social media posts,” he added.
According to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), POLOs in 40 posts across the world have so far reported that 84,436 OFWs have either been displaced or in a no-work, no pay status due to the pandemic which triggered lockdowns and slowed down businesses in theirhost countries.
Meanwhile, latest figures from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) showed that 1,395 Filipinos abroad have so far tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19.
Of the number, 829 Filipino patients are still undergoing treatment while 380 have recovered including 49 new recoveries.
There 186 fatalities reported so far.
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