Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III's announcement regarding the suspension of the deployment of OFWs to Qatar amid the diplomatic crisis did not sit well with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), a labor official admitted Friday.
Interviewed during an anti-illegal recruitment summit in Pasay City, Labor Undersecretary Dominador Say said DFA officials expressed their concerns regarding the announcement during a meeting earlier in the day.
"Ang concern na in-express nila kanina, dapat daw alam nila ang announcement," Say said. "Ang sinasabi lang daw kasi, bakit daw kasi nag-announce pa si secretary. If there is another way, bakit suspension pa ang in-announce."
He said the DFA is worried about the possible implication of the announcement to the country's ties with Qatar.
"Ang worry nila relations," Say said. "Hindi lang magkatugma ang agenda."
He said "there was some form of tense moment" during the meeting because the DFA was coming from "a different perspective."
During the meeting, DFA Assistant Secretary Hjayceelyn Quintana said the Qatari ambassador expressed "huge disappointment" over the suspension, but Say said they are standing by it.
"I am fully aware that we might have acted early, but acting early is better than acting late," Say said.
"We are looking at the Qatar situation in the context of what happened in Saudi Arabia, in the context of what happened in Libya, in other countries where we had to repatriate," Say said in an earlier speech.
During the meeting, it was agreed upon that the DFA will send a representative to all press briefings by the DOLE, or the Department of Labor and Employment, to keep the department up to date with announcements.
"I suggested na kumuha na lang, magpadala sila ng isang spokesperson from them, from DFA, na kasama na sa usual team ng media, ipapatawag sakaling may presscon para sila kagad ang may direct information kung anong ina-announce," Say said. —KBK, GMA News