Recruitment agencies ordered to monitor health of workers in Hong Kong, Macau

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THE PHILIPPINE Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) directed all recruitment agencies to monitor the health of their workers deployed to Hong Kong and Macau as those territories deal with the coronavirus outbreak from China.

POEA Memorandum Circular No. 4 series of 2020, dated March 2, ordered all licensed Philippine recruitment agencies (PRA) to “provide advice and strictly monitor the health conditions of their deployed workers to Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region) and Macau SAR.”

Earlier last month, President Rodrigo R. Duterte approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to impose a travel ban to and from China, Macau, and Hong Kong. This ban was later partially lifted for the two SARs, allowing only the entry of Filipino workers employed there, students, and permanent residents.

The recruitment agencies should advise their workers of precautionary health measures they need to take, and to report emergency cases.

“A monitoring system should be generated by each deploying PRA to take into consideration the seriousness of the disease and the OFW’s immediate need for medical assistance,” according to the Memorandum.

In case OFWs show symptoms or are infected, the PRA must file a report to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) and the Philippine consulate within three days of receiving a case report. — Gillian M. Cortez