The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) said it has released financial assistance to overseas Filipino workers in Hong Kong affected by the surge in COVID-19 cases.
According to the POLO, it has released $200 to qualified OFWs through the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) under the After-care Financial Assistance Program.
An additional $200 was also given to overseas Filipinos with concerns regarding quarantine facilities.
POLO said that the hospitalization and quarantine of Filipino workers were being coordinated with the Hong Kong Center for Health Protection and non-government organizations.
It said it was also assisting in the transportation of OFWs to quarantine and isolation facilities if needed, adding that it had provided food, medicine, and power banks to affected workers.
This comes as Hong Kong faces its fifth wave of COVID-19 cases, with a number of OFWs forced to wait outside hospitals for treatment after testing positive due to facilities being on full capacity.
Philippine Consul General Raly Tejada also said there were up to 10 OFWs in Hong Kong who were forced by their employers to sleep in public areas after testing positive.
“As COVID-19 infection is not a valid ground for termination, POLO closely coordinated with employers to reassure workers that they can still return to work once they recover,” POLO said in an emailed statement. — VBL, GMA News