POEA bars deployment of OFWs to Myanmar

July 22, 2021

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has imposed a total
deployment ban on the processing and deployment of all overseas Filipino workers
(OFWs) to Myanmar due to COVID-19 outbreak and critical situation of the country’s
healthcare system.
The said ban covers all OFWs, including crew changes and shore leaves of Filipino
seafarers.
The POEA Governing Board chaired by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III made the
decision after the Philippine Embassy in Yangon and the Department of Foreign Affairs
(DFA) raised the alert status for Myanmar to Alert Level 4 or the Evacuation/Mandatory
Repatriation phase due to health threat of the COVID-19 outbreak and probable nonprovision of healthcare services to OFWs.
“The Philippine Embassy in Yangon and the DFA gave notice that the healthcare system
in the country is close to reaching its maximum capacity and may not be able to provide
adequate medical attention to Filipinos,” POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia said.
The need for mandatory evacuation of OFWs in Myanmar was also stated in the notice
to further safeguard the health and safety of the OFWs.
The POEA already directed all Philippine recruitment agencies with deployed OFWs in
Myanmar to coordinate with their respective partner employers to report the conditions of
their deployed workers onsite, and repatriate them back home.
The POEA had temporarily prohibited the deployment of newly hired OFWs to Myanmar
in May 28, 2021 due to coup-related tensions, which is reportedly crippled the country’s
healthcare system.