MANILA - The Philippines has imposed a temporary suspension on the deployment of Filipino workers to Oman after its government included Filipinos and travelers from the Philippines in its travel ban, Labor Chief Silvestre Bello III said Friday.
“Kaya nung isang araw nagkaroon ng emergency meeting ang governing board ng Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and we decided to follow the recommendation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and we declared a temporary suspension of deployment ng mga Pilipino doon,” Bello said in an interview on ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
(The POEA governing board had an emergency meeting and we decided to follow the recommendation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and we declared a temporary suspension of deployment of Filipinos there.)
Bello said the Philippines was among the countries that Oman included in its travel ban.
“Ang ‘di ko maintindihan bakit tayo isinama. Ang nakalagay Philippine travelers and traveler passing to the Philippines Baka ang ano nila COVID threat tayo, 'yun ang tingin ko,” he said.
(I don’t understand why we were included. Maybe they think we're a COVID threat.)
He said he also received information from one of their ambassadors that the Oman's minister of foreign affairs wanted to talk to him. He said a virtual meeting is scheduled Friday night.
“I think the intention there is for us to have a mutual lifting of the suspension,” he said.
Oman is home to almost 200,000 Filipinos, the labor chief said. The number does not include undocumented Filipinos.
“Siguro nabigla lang sila sa pagdamay sa atin. I think we're going to a reach a consensus tonight na magkaroon ng mutual lifting,” he said.