Department of Migrant Workers chief Susan Ople orders a directive to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) not requiring overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to wear personal protective equipment or PPEs.
Ople said that the wearing of PPEs is not sanctioned by the DMW and POEA.
“I agree with the sentiments of Senator Pia Cayetano and other legislators that the PPE requirement for departing OFWs is outdated, misguided and oppressive. I regret not having issued this order much earlier to spare our OFWs the discomfort of going to the airport in full PPE attire,” Ople said.
The POEA then issued an advisory against manning agencies who are requiring OFWs to wear PPEs.
“With the easing of regulations on both domestic and international travel, and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF)’s promulgation of policies for the relaxation of COVId-19 restrictions, such as the voluntary wearing of face masks outdoors and the downgrading of most areas to the lowest alert level, the POEA reiterates that requirements on the deployment and travel of OFWs must also be relaxed. The Administration further reiterates that any health and safety procedure for OFWs must be harmonized with the requirements of the Philippine government and of the country of destination,” the POEA advisory read.
“All licensed agencies are thus hereby reminded of the afore-stated guidance from the POEA on the use of PPE, consistent with minimum public health and safety guidelines currently being implemented in the Philippines and in the countries of destination,” it added.
Ople said that having complete vaccines and wearing of face masks are already enough for OFWs.
“The DMW firmly believes that having vaccines plus booster shots and wearing face masks provide sufficient protection to our overseas workers. Until otherwise recommended by our health officials, the POEA advisory against mandatory wearing of PPEs for our OFWs by their respective recruitment and manning agencies shall remain in force,” Ople said.