DOLE monitors Covid cases overseas; assures aid to OFWs

The government continues to extend assistance to Filipino migrant workers infected with the coronavirus while working in host countries, the labor department said on Tuesday.

And Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III closely monitors the status of COVID-19 cases involving OFWs based on regular updates from the 39 Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO) across Asia and the Pacific, US and North America, Europe, and the Middle East.

In the Middle East, Labor Attaché Gregorio Abalos, Jr. of POLO Oman reported that 122 OFWs have recovered, while four have succumbed to the disease. He added that 107 OFWs have received the Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) financial assistance, which is a one-time P10,000 or $200 cash aid to OFWs whose incomes were affected by the pandemic.

In Israel, Labor Attaché Rodolfo Gabasan said there are 65 recorded infections in the Filipino community, with 56 recoveries and one death.

Among the latest confirmed cases include two Filipinas who are both quarantined at Prima Park Hotel in Jerusalem.

The country is also on second lockdown to prevent visitors in synagogues on the eve of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), which is the holiest day in Judaism.

Gabasan said a total of 336 OFWs have received the AKAP financial assistance as of September 27.

In Qatar, the POLO has recorded 3,052 OFWs who have tested positive of the disease and 17 OFWs who died of COVID-19. In Europe, POLO Spain reported that among the 100 Filipinos monitored, 85 have recovered; while two tested negative and seven tested positive of COVID-19.

There are also six recorded deaths among those OFWs monitored. In France, eight OFWs have recovered, while six died of COVID-19; in Germany, 80 Filipinos have recovered; while in Belgium, seven Filipinos have recovered from COVID 19.

In Asia, 11 OFWs were infected with the coronavirus in Taiwan.

The POLO in Taiwan also reported that all arriving OFWs from the Philippines will no longer be swab tested upon arrival, except for those who have symptoms; and that quarantine cost for arriving OFWs is free, a rule which is different from that imposed on other nationalities.