China-based Filipino workers call for exemption from travel ban
MANILA – Filipino workers from the People’s Republic of China called on the House of Representatives to allow them to return to their work places.
Marjorie Reyes, an Electronics Engineer in a factory in Zhuhai, China was part of the group that raised their concerns to Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III. During the hearing, Reyes said she and her compatriots have been asked by their companies to return to work.
She said there have been zero cases in the past few weeks in Zhuhai and the last two cases have already been discharged after their recovered.
“There are no new recorded cases, and we’re not just talking about days of new recorded cases. It’s been more than three weeks already, China is so big. We don’t need to generalize it to Wuhan,” Reyes explained.
DFA-Office of Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Special Assistant Olivia Palala said they will carefully study whatever information they will get from their posts in China and will raise it to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID). Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that OFW groups appeal will be discussed tonight in his meeting with the Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian and President Duterte.
The IATF-EID is set to hold another session on Tuesday, March 17. Congresswoman Brosas said the bigger problem for the affected workers would be the deprivation of livelihood.
Migrante International Chairperson Joanna Concepcion and Gabriel Party List Rep. Arlene Brosas accompanied the affected workers to the hearing.
“No wealthy person will ever share even a bottle of alcohol as we are all seriously affected but most of all, the poor,” the lawmaker said.
Migrante International’s Joanna Concepcion said the livelihood of the OFWs is at risk as she called on the government to look at the impact of the travel ban on migrant workers. Travel restrictions have also been imposed by Qatar and Kuwait due to the COVID-19 concerns. (Melo M. Acuña)
(Photo from congress.gov.ph)