Tuesday, June 13, 2017

OFWs in Qatar want to stay amid diplomatic crisis —OWWA official

Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Qatar want to stay in the Middle Eastern country amid the ongoing diplomatic crisis, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said Saturday.
"Wala. Wala pa tayong ganyang klaseng abiso o pagpaparamdam. And of course, sabi ko nga nakaabang tayo kung sino man," Cacdac said in an interview on dzBB when asked if there are OFWs who wanted to go home following the ongoing diplomatic crisis affecting Qatar.
Cacdac said the situation in Qatar remains normal, noting that the OWWA is constantly in touch with Filipinos workers.
"Minamanmanan pa rin natin ang sitwasyon, katuwang ang DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) at DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs). At ang direktiba naman ni Secretary [Silvestre] Bello [III] ay talagang always be in touch with Filipino community through communications directly o kaya social media o ano pa man," Cacdac said.
"Batay so far sa ating pakikihalubilo at pag-gather ng impormasyon, so far medyo normalize ang sitwasyon, hindi kasing ka-tensyunado kumpara nung unang araw na pumutok yung balita. But nevertheless, we are not letting our guard down. Alam nating maselan ang sitwasyon, although may tsansa pa talaga magresolba ito ay hindi natin bibitawan ito until maresolba," he added.
On June 5, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain announced the severance of diplomatic ties with Qatar, over allegations that it is supporting terrorism.
Bello suspended the deployment of OFWs to Qatar following news on the diplomatic crisis.
The next day, the Labor secretary partially lifted the ban, allowing returning and newly-hired OFWs to Qatar.
Meanwhile, Cacdac said that the lifting of moratorium on the deployment of OFWs depends on the situation in Qatar.
"Well of course nasa kapasiyahan yan ng ating kalihim ng panggawa pero ang batayan na pgkakalaam ko hanggang masiguro yung kapakanan ng ating mga OFWs, which means its also related sa paghupa ng sitwasyon," he said.
He added that OFWs who were not able to leave for Qatar should not worry because DOLE has its "Assist WELL program."
The Assist WELL program provides comprehensive welfare, employment, legal, and livelihood assistance to OFWs. —Marlly Rome C. Bondoc/ALG, GMA News

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