MANILA - Filipino caregivers who will be deployed to Israel will be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination there as they are frontliners, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration said Sunday.
Some 500 caregivers are expected to be deployed within the first quarter, said POEA administrator Bernard Olalia.
"Dahil sila po ay considered frontliner, dahil healthcare ang kanilang sector, sila po ay priority din na bibigyan ng bakuna. Ito rin po ay para sa kalusugan ng kanilang pasyente," Olalia told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
(Because they are considered frontliners, they will be prioritized for the vaccination. It's also for the health of their patients.)
"May equal treatment po sila 'pag nagpunta sa bansang iyon."
(They can expect equal treatment in that country.)
Israel's health ministry has authorized a COVID-19 vaccine developed by US drugmaker Moderna Inc, the company and an Israeli official said a few days ago, marking the vaccine's third regulatory authorization and the first outside North America.
"Ministry of Health of Israel has secured 6 million doses and first deliveries (are) expected to begin in January," Moderna said in a statement last week.
The overseas employment certificate of Filipino migrant workers that expired during the pandemic will be automatically revalidated, Olalia said, citing the coronavirus' impact on their deployment last year.
"Karamihan po ngayon, nasa health sector, professional at skilled ang dine-deploy natin ngayong panahon na ito. Halos 'di po sila apektado ng pandemic. Ang medyo apektado po semi- at low-skilled na sector ng OFWs," he said.
(We deploy mostly those in the health, professional, and skilled sectors. They're almost unaffected by the pandemic. The most affected are from the semi- and low-skilled sectors.)
"Unti-unti na pong sumisigla yung iba’t ibang merkado natin dahil nagkakaroon na ng vaccination."
(Economies are gradually becoming lively because of vaccination.)
As of Jan. 5, the government has repatriated 396,000 OFWs, with around 70,000 to 80,000 more to come home this year.
- with reports from Reuters