The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said on Monday it is "ready to support" Filipinos employed in the United Arab Emirates who were affected by a travel ban that the Philippines imposed to keep out a COVID-19 variant first detected in India.
OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said his agency received reports that some Filipino workers are stuck and facing penalties in the UAE because they could not go home to the Philippines, as their visas already expired.
The OWWA would coordinate with the embassy and consulate to seek a dialogue with UAE authorities, he said in a televised public briefing.
"We stand ready to support the OFWs affected by the travel ban... Kailangan din sigurong kausapin ang UAE government para hindi po mag-skyrocket o kumbaga lumubha ang sitwasyon in terms of penalties na ipinapataw sa ating OFWs," said Cacdac.
(We might just need to talk to the UAE government first so that the penalties on our OFWs would not skyrocket and the situation would not worsen.)
The Philippine travel ban, in place until May 31, covers India, Bangladesh, Oman, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the UAE. It applies to all travelers, including Filipinos.