June 22, 2021
The Philippines and Oman both agreed to lift their respective restrictions on the entry and deployment of Filipino workers, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said on Tuesday.
“Our beloved (Labor) Secretary Silvestre Bello III and the Omani ambassador with the help of our Philippine envoy Amable Aguiluz V, were able to explain to each other their respective sides on the matter and have agreed through the signing of an undertaking that both countries will be lifting their respective orders,” POEA chief Bernard Olalia said in a Laging Handa briefing.
Last month, Muscat imposed a ban on the entry of travelers from the Philippines or travelers who passed through the Philippines less than 14 days prior to the application for entry, except for Omani citizens, diplomats, health workers, and their families.
The travel ban was extended indefinitely, prompting Manila to suspend the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to the host country starting June 18.
“It means that once Oman lifted its order and we also lifted our suspension order, immediately we will be able to send out OFWs to Oman,” Olalia added.
Olalia said during the talks between both sides, the Omani government explained that it did not intend to block the entry of Filipino workers and travelers.
He added that Bello, in return, said the Philippine government practically had to suspend the deployment of workers in response to Oman’s measure.
“From January to May or June, our deployment is at 5,000. More or less, our deployment every month to Oman is 1,000,” he added. (PNA)