MANILA, Philippines – Filipino Overseas Workers (OFWs) bound for Singapore are not required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before being allowed to enter the city-state.
Singapore labor attaché Saul De Vries said vaccines were not part of arrival protocols in the city-state, but the Singapore government still implements strict quarantine protocols due to the recurrence of COVID-19 cases.
“It is not a condition for OFWs to be vaccinated before leaving for their work. However, the Singapore government requires them to undergo a 21-day institutional quarantine and pass the RT-PCR test three times, ”De Vries said.
Following the recurrence of cases, De Vries said the Singapore government has temporarily suspended entry clearance applications for foreign workers from high-risk countries.
“I hope that such a regulation or policy will be reviewed next July when the cases of COVID-19 infection have slowed down,” he added.
According to Department of Labor records, there are approximately 200,000 Filipinos in Singapore, of whom 180,000 are professionals, skilled workers, domestic workers, health workers and people working in the service sector. tourism and information technology.
De Vries also announced that POLO-Singapore recently approved over 200 Job Orders (OJs) for vaccinators with monthly salaries ranging from SGD 1,800 to 2,000 or the equivalent of just over 63,000 P.
“Apart from the 200 vaccinators, the demand for domestic workers is still high in Singapore,” he added.
Although it is not mandatory for OFWs to be vaccinated before entering Singapore, De Vries said migrant workers are included in the government’s vaccination program. OFWs are therefore strongly encouraged to be vaccinated, as it is the best way to fight against the spread of the virus.
“I think most, if not all, of our OFWs in the health sector have already been vaccinated, as they are included in the priority group list,” De Vries said.
Despite the reduction in POLO operations in Singapore, the office was able to distribute financial assistance of $ 200 or 10,000 pesos under DOLE’s Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) program to OFWs who lost their jobs or suffered a pay cut, as well as those who contracted COVID-19.
Food parcels, essential hygiene kits as well as physical and mental health and wellness activities were provided to Filipino migrant workers, especially those most in distress, to help them cope with their daily lives during that community quarantines are applied.