MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is chartering a plane for more than 300 Filipino teachers of English to China, an official said Friday.
In a virtual forum, DOLE International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB) Director Alice Visperas confirmed that the over 300 Filipino teachers will be bound for Guangzhou, China “hopefully this month” to return to their jobs.
“Meron tayong tinulungan na mga kababayan natin na returning workers, mga balik-manggagawa na going to China” Visperas said.
(We are helping our returning workers who are going to China.)
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has already coordinated with Philippine Airlines to charter a plane from them, according to the DOLE official.
Visperas said most of these English teachers either went home to the Philippines late last year for a vacation or have completed their respective contracts but were not able to go back to China due to restrictions triggered by the pandemic.
“So ngayon na nagkaroon na ng pag-ease ng lockdown ay muli na silang babalik doon as balik-manggagawa,” she said.
(Now that the lockdown has been eased they can now return for work.)
Over 260,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFW) have so far been repatriated since the start of the pandemic, Visperas also noted.
Citing reports from Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) across the world, she said over 100,000 more OFWs are expected to come home.
She added that 307,344 OFWs have already been given financial assistance through DOLE’s Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) program.
Of the number, 152,655 are OFWs who are still in the country where they are working while the rest are displaced OFWs or those who could still not return to their host country to work because of the pandemic, according to Visperas.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.
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