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No deployment ban in South Korea - Baldoz

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Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz denied reports on Sunday that the country has suspended the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to South Korea.

“There is no order to suspend temporarily the deployment of overseas Filipino workers to South Korea, as Radyo ng Bayan first reported and picked up later by other news organizations,” the DOLE chief said in a statement.

She clarified that there was a deferment in the deployment of 55 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to the said country, but it was reset to Dec. 7.

“What there is was a deferment of the deployment of 55 South Korea-bound OFWs who are supposed to leave on November 30. Their departure has been reset to December 7,” she explained.

The rescheduling of their flight was recommended by Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Alberto Romulo as a matter of caution and prudence, upon the order of President Benigno S. Aquino III to assess the situation, she said.

“Any further decision on the deployment of OFWs to South Korea will be reviewed after the team of Ambassador Roy Cimatu, which has been ordered to go to South Korea to assess the situation there, has submitted a report,” the Labor secretary stressed.

It was reported earlier that the government has temporary stopped sending OFWs to South Korea because of the hostilities between that country and North Korea.

There are some 60,000 Filipinos in South Korea, including about 10,000 undocumented workers.

Baldoz said the government is ready to implement its contingency plan if the situation on the Korean peninsula country worsens.

In a related development, a Malacanang official said overseas Filipino workers can still go to South Korea despite the rising tension on the Korean Peninsula.

In a radio interview over State-run Radyo ng Bayan on Sunday, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said the scheduled deployment of 55 OFWs to Seoul last week was only deferred for a week.

“By the week lang ang deferment. Hindi apektado iyong ibang aalis. Para lang sa linggong ito ang deferment at hindi sa iba pang aalis ngayong Disyembre,” Valte explained.

“Walang pagbabawal at walang ban. Mas mabuti na maging prudent muna tayo at tingnan ang mangyayari in the next couple of days para hindi malagay sa alanganin ang ating mga OFWs,” she said.

Valte added that President Aquino has already ordered government agencies concerned to assess the ongoing situation on the Korean peninsula.

“Ipagpapatuloy ang assessment at corresponding action hangga't 'di natatapos ang tension doon,” she said. (PNAPIA9-BST)




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