POEA Allows Aid Workers to Return to Ebola-Hit Countries

MANILA – The Governing Board of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has issued a resolution that would allow Filipino workers of international aid organizations to return to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

In the POEA Governing Board Resolution No. 1, Series of 2015, dated January 22, 2015, it now allows the processing and deployment only of returning workers of United Nations-related organizations or international non-government/civil society organizations bound for the three mentioned countries in West Africa.

“Provided, they execute a statement that they are returning to EVD-affected countries against government advice and for their employer/agency/organization to issue an undertaking that they will be responsible for the treatment and repatriation of the returning Filipinos in the event that they are infected,” the resolution stated.

In July 2014, the POEA issued a temporary suspension on the processing and deployment of newly-hired OFWs to the three countries and allowed only those vacationing/returning workers due to threat and the spread of the Ebola virus disease.

This was followed by a total deployment ban for all OFWs bound for Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in a resolution it issued last December 8, 2014. It instructed all Filipinos there to return to the Philippines.

But the latest resolution also stated that it still recommended that the 21-day mandatory quarantine for returning OFWs from the three Ebola-affected countries.

Likewise, the alert level 3 status (voluntary repatriation) is still in place there.

(Source: ABS-CBNnews.com)

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