The group of licensed recruitment agencies deploying to Taiwan PILMAT (Philippine Manpower Agencies Accredited to Taiwan) is elated over the lifting of the travel ban which unduly delayed the departure of 5,000 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) for their jobs in Taiwan.
Aida Gerodias, Pilmat president, in a statement Saturday, thanked the Inter-Agency Task Force (IAFT) on COVID-19 for recommending the lifting of travel ban in view of the absence of local transmission of COVID-19 in Taiwan as well as the low volume of travelers coming from that country.
Gerodias praised and thanked that the persistent efforts of Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO)) Chairman Lito Banayo in coordinating with Taiwan’s Council of Labor Affairs in assuring Taiwan that the Philippines is cooperating in the lifting of the ban and considering the adverse effects of the prolonged ban on the future of the OFWs.
“The untiring efforts of Department of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III in convincing the IAFT on the importance of keeping Filipino jobs secure with their Taiwan employers was given credit by PILMAT and the remittances of the Taiwan OFWs major contribution to the Philippine economy of One US Billion dollars or P 500 Million pesos annually,” said Gerodias.
Pilmat also thanked the members of the Duterte cabinet, Secretary of Health Dr. Francisco Duque III and Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat, the other signatories to the resolution Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Brigido Dulay, Interior Undersecretary Francisco Cruz, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and Department of Information and Communications Technology officer-in-charge Manuel Anthony Tan.
PILMAT said that they will closely cooperate with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and MECO in ensuring the safety and security of Filipino workers in Taiwan in the fight against COVID-19.
Meanwhile the 5,000 OFWs who were stranded in Manila for their flight to Taiwan may have to wait a few more days before local airline carriers Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific start their regular flights to Taiwan.
For their part Cebu Pacific said they will start on February 17 their early morning flights, while PAL will only start on February 21 their regular flights to Taipei./Stacy Ang