The Department of Labor and Employment has temporarily suspended the deployment of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
According to the memo sent to Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) administrator Bernard P. Olalia, the ban comes as “The [Labor] Department received reports that departing OFWs are being required by their employers/foreign recruitment agencies to shoulder the costs of health and safety protocols for Covid-19 and insurance premium upon their entry in the Kingdom.”
KSA requires that travelers entering the kingdom undergo a minimum of 7 days in quarantine and take two PCR tests. Additionally, guest travelers are required to have “medical insurance that covers the cost of Covid-19 treatment in outpatient clinics, emergencies and hospitals, including the institutional quarantine for a period of 14 days.”
This comes on the heels of DOLE’s clarification that OFWs vaccinated with Sinovac would still be allowed into KSA. Guest travelers are required to have completed two doses of Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Moderna, or one dose of Johnson and Johnson vaccines, but DOLE had clarified that this would not include incoming workers.
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This article, OFWs temporarily banned from deployment to Saudi Arabia, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.