LABOR Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III commended overseas Filipino workers, especially those in the healthcare service for ‘persevering’ in their jobs amid the pandemic.
In a virtual address before the Filipino community in London, Bello said the government is proud of OFWs especially the Filipino health care workers who bravely delivered their service in UK hospitals.
“Thank you for continuing to be at your best when you’re working. You make all Filipinos proud. Indeed, being at your best during the pandemic could be very difficult but you persevered because of your commitment to duties and responsibilities,” he said.
The labor chief also congratulated other OFWs for jobs well done.
“Also doing a great job are our service and domestic workers who continue to perform despite the threat of COVID-19,” he said.
Further, Bello took note of the Filipino community organizations that played important roles during the lockdowns. The groups coordinated help at the height of restrictions due to surging cases of COVID-19.
“Many of you supported our Philippine Overseas Labor Office so we could provide food, medicines and more to our brothers and sisters who got sick and lost their jobs. Thank you for keeping the spirit of ‘bayanihan’ alive,” he said.
During the occasion, Bello also reported government responses to the needs and concerns of OFWs in UK, adding that financial assistance worth 200 dollars was also given to each OFW who got unemployed temporarily and were not covered by the Furlough program of the UK government.
“More than 1,700 Covid victims who are members of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration likewise received financial aid of 200 dollars each,” he said, adding that the government tried to reach other Filipino migrant workers in other countries near UK for the aid.
Bello said the Department of Labor and Employment, Philippine Overseas Employment Office and OWWA have been relentless in implementing various key programs to help pandemic-hit OFWs cope with the crisis.
These include the skills and development training programs and the Post-Arrival Orientation Seminars and other information dissemination activities that went online, he said.
“The processes for job-related accreditations and employment contracts are continuously being done despite the pandemic. We have also opened more POLOs in other places like Prague, Morocco and more,” he added.
In high-level discussions with the UK government, Bello said they make sure OFW issues are pushed. “Your rights and protection are the priorities of the state,” he told the migrant workers.