POEA stops OFW deployment to 3 African countries

By Mayen Jaymalin, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jul 04 2014 09:27 AM | Updated as of Jul 04 2014 05:27 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The government has stopped the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to three West African countries due to the threat of Ebola virus.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz yesterday said the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) is issuing the resolution banning the sending of new hires to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Baldoz said the POEA opted to stop the deployment to the three countries upon the recommendation of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

The DFA raised crisis alert level 2 after the three West African countries declared an Ebola outbreak.

But Baldoz said the deployment ban will only cover new hires. Those who have existing contracts are still allowed to enter the three countries.

The POEA earlier reminded Filipino workers in West Africa to take the necessary precautions against the Ebola virus.

Baldoz said there were no recorded cases of Filipinos afflicted with Ebola, but precautionary measures need to be undertaken.

A number of Filipinos have returned home from Sierra Leone for fear of getting infected with the Ebola virus, which can be transmitted through close contact with bodily fluids, such as the sweat, blood, and saliva of an infected person or animal.