Canada postpones Filipino frontliner's deportation following public outcry

Published May 15, 2021, 12:43 PM

by Jaleen Ramos

The Canadian government postponed the deportation of a Filipino health worker on Thursday, May 13, after the public set up a campaign to let him stay in Canada until he is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus disease.

(Photo from Change.Org/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Carlo Escario, 36, an intensive care unit worker at the Toronto General Hospital, pleaded to Canadian immigration authorities to allow him to stay for 40 more days to get his second Pfizer-BioNTech shot, according to a report from Toronto Star.

Escario and his lawyer Natalie Domazet earlier requested a 40-day deferral of his deportation to get the second shot.

The government granted Escario’s wish after his supporters put up an online petition which garnered more than 8,000 petitions and lobbied federal politicians to defer his removal until June.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) initially rejected the request.

Escario was set for deportation last Thursday because of misrepresentation in his permanent residence (PR) application.

“I am very worried about getting COVID-19 because I do not want to get sick and rely on the health care in the Philippines,” Escario earlier told the Star.

He added that his parents have both been infected by the virus but they can’t afford to pay for the hospitalization and medication.

“I am unlikely to receive a Pfizer vaccine on return to the Philippines because the country is primarily administering the Chinese Sinovac and Russian Sputnik vaccines, which worries me. I sincerely hope that Canada will consider my work as a front-line health care worker and find that I am deserving of a short deferral of my removal,” he continued.

Escario received his first dose of the Pfizer jab in February and is schedule to get inoculated with the second shot on June 11, the report added.

The border agency earlier said it was not convinced that Escario would suffer any “irreparable harm” if he does not receive the second Pfizer dose.

It added there is no evidence that receiving a shot from another company would have negative effects.

Escario, originally from Quezon City, has been working at the Toronto General Hospital as a hemodialysis assistant since 2014.

He arrived in Canada in 2007 as a caregiver and became a permanent resident in 2010. However, his status was revoked in 2013 due to misrepresentation in his permanent residence application after failing to declare he was married and had a child in the Philippines.