By Jeffrey Damicog
In the light of the travel ban to Taiwan, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has been urged to meet with stakeholders and clarify the existing travel bans imposed due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The call was made by Susan Ople, head of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center, who asked the POEA to convene the Overseas Land-based Tripartite Council (OLTCC).
“There have been conflicting signals over the travel ban to Taiwan,” Ople pointed out in a statement on Wednesday (Feb. 12). “Is it due to pressing and urgent health concerns or is it more because of the “One China” policy?”
The former labor undersecretary pointed out that “to inject geopolitics into what is known as a global health crisis may prove to be both untimely and unwise, considering that the Philippines and Taiwan also have excellent and long-standing labor and trade relations.”
“As stakeholders, we are looking at the POEA for a better understanding of the situation,” she said, adding that the labor department is part of the inter-agency committee on COVID-19.
The OLTCC is the POEA’s consultative council composed of leaders from civil society and the recruitment industry.
The POEA acts as the secretariat of the OLTCC and is able to invite relevant resource persons from other government agencies to meet with OFW stakeholders.