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RUSH VACCINATION OF OUTBOUND OFWS – GATCHALIAN

Senator Win Gatchalian called on the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to expedite the vaccination of outbound Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), particularly those scheduled for deployment this year.

“Bakunahan na natin sila habang nandito sila sa Pilipinas para maaari na silang makabalik agad sa trabaho,” Gatchalian stressed.

“Kailangan nating siguruhin na bago makaalis ang mga OFWs sa bansa ay bakunado na silang lahat.”

“Marami sa kanila nagta-trabaho sa barko o sa mga hotels sa abroad. Marami sa mga ganitong negosyo ay bumabalik na paunti-unti. Pero kailangan nating siguruhin na bago makaalis ang mga OFWs sa bansa ay bakunado na silang lahat,” the veteran legislator said.

“Marami sa kanila ay nagtataguyod ng pamilya kaya dapat suportahan at tulungan natin sila. Magpapasukan na naman at importante na meron silang panggastos para ma-enroll yung kanilang mga anak o mabilhan ng mga gamit,” the seasoned lawmaker added.

“The number of Filipino seafarers deployed monthly is gradually returning to its pre-pandemic status.”

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has noted that the number of Filipino seafarers deployed monthly is gradually returning to its pre-pandemic status.

Compared to the 15,000 deployed in January, some 30,000 seafarers were deployed in May or a difference of 10,000 from the 40,000 being sent abroad monthly prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the POEA said.

The IATF has re-categorized to Priority Group A1 those outbound OFWs due for deployment in the coming months.

The Vice Chairperson of the Senate Economic Affairs Committee said that aside from the personal economic recovery of the displaced OFWs, the recovery of remittances, which could be aided by the expedited rollout of more COVID-19 vaccines, could also boost the appreciation of the country’s currency.

The senator urged the POEA and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to ensure that the OFWs be given vaccine shots preferred by their respective destination countries so as not to cause any delay in their deployment.

The country is expecting 25 million doses of anti-COVID-19 vaccines to arrive this September while an additional 29.5 million doses are due to be delivered by October.

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