By Roy Mabasa
Beginning March 24, 2020, the Government of Brunei Darussalam has already imposed a temporary travel ban on the entry of all foreign nationals to Brunei as part of measures to contain and prevent the further spread of the COVID-19, the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday, March 26.
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the travel ban includes foreign nationals who are transiting via air, land, and sea. The said travel restrictions will be in effect “until further notice.”
The DFA is encouraging travelers or workers who plan to go to Brunei to “suspend and forego” their travel plans in the meantime. They are likewise advised to contact their respective airline companies to avoid any unnecessary inconveniences.
“The DFA reminds the Filipino public to remain vigilant and accurately informed as countries/territories impose and/or adjust travel restrictions that may affect Filipino travelers,” it said.
Meanwhile, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in Malaysia has complained about the absence of precautionary measures coming from the Philippine Embassy for the hundreds of Filipino workers in that country.
“Nakikibalita lang kami sa kanila base po sa mga ipino-post nila sa kanilang Facebook account (We only get to hear from them (Embassy) through their Facebook postings),” said Malaysia-based OFW Anthony Bilandro during a live interview at the “Laging Handa” program shown in government station PTV-4 on Thursday.
He said OFWs in Malaysia are facing difficulties in securing food items from grocery stores, claiming they are less prioritized than the locals. “Nauuna po palagi ang mga locals dito. Kapag nagkakaroon kami ng pagkakataon ay halos ubos na ang paninda (The locals are always ahead. By the time our turn comes, the items are almost gone,” he added.
The OFW called on the Philippine government to direct the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur to help them secure food items, saying this would be a big help for OFWs, especially for those who are employed in the private sector in Malaysia.
On Wednesday, the Malaysian government extended the nationwide lockdown from March 31 to April 14 to stem the spread of the COVID-19.