PHILIPPINES URGED TO PREPARE CONTINGENCY PLAN FOR WORKERS IN QATAR AMID GULF ROW

A senator on Tuesday urged concerned government agencies to provide assistance to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Qatar and neighboring countries amid ongoing diplomatic crisis in the Middle East.

With the ongoing tension in the Middle East, I urge the DFA, DOLE, OWWA, (Departments of Foreign Affairs, Labor and Employment, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and Philippine Overseas Labor Office) to prepare for any eventuality, Sen. Nancy Binay said in a statement.

The government is ready to extend help. We have to assure that our countrymen in Qatar are safe and calm, she said.

Binay expressed concern that the ongoing row between Middle Eastern countries is a cause for concern for the thousands of OFWs there.

Data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) in 2016 showed that there are around 900,000 OFWs working in the Middle East. Meanwhile, around 130,000 OFWs work in Qatar.

The senator said that the government should coordinate with the Filipino community and organizations in Qatar on immediate action and possible evacuation in case the situation worsens.

She also called on non-government organizations (NGOs) helping OFWs to coordinate with the Philippine embassy in Doha, Qatar as well as the labor attache in helping Filipinos living in the Middle Eastern state.

Meanwhile, Binay said that she trusts DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III in dealing with the situation and assured that the Senate is also ready to extend help and support. —

Source: NAM News Network