Sierra Leone OFWs Oppose Move to Raise Ebola Alert to Level 3

MANILA, Philippines – Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Sierra Leone are opposing the government’s plan to raise the crisis alert level 3 to Ebola-affected countries as it would affect their employment.

Not all areas of Sierra Leone are affected by Ebola virus, OFW Virgilio Timario said in an interview with dzMM, adding that once alert level 3 is raised in the country, they might lose their jobs.

“Ang level alert 3 po ay komposisyon ng voluntary repatriation pero hindi na po sila magpapabalik ng manggagawa sa West Africa,” Timario said.

The OFW doctor added that the 21-day quarantine for Filipinos returning from Ebola-affected countries is unreasonable.

“Against human rights ‘yun… Kung ika-quarantine, kami po ay tatlong linggo rin lang po ‘yung bakasyon na ibinigay sa amin ng kumpanya, e baliwala na rin po ‘yung bakasyon namin dahil pabalik na rin kami rito so hindi po makatwiran sa amin po ‘yun,” the OFW said.

Timario noted that preventive measures against Ebola virus are continuously observed in Sierra Leone and that the Philippine government should observe the situation in the West African country so as to prove that OFWs are Ebola-free.

OFW Joseph Baylon who is currently in the Philippines, fears that he would not be able to return to his job in Sierra Leone once a deployment ban is implemented.

Department of Health Spokesperson Lyndon Lee Suy confirmed that they have consulted the Department of Foreign Affairs on raising the alert and the final decision will be announced on Sunday.

(Source: Philippine Star)

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