5,000 OFWs stranded after Taiwan imposes entry ban

Published May 17, 2021, 11:51 AM

by Jaleen Ramos

About 5,000 Filipino workers bound for Taiwan are stranded after the Taiwan Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) imposed an entry ban on migrant workers due to the surge in coronavirus cases in the country.

People, wearing face masks after Taiwan bumped up its alert level in some locations in the wake of a new wave of COVID-19 infections, walk across a suspension bridge at Bitan – a popular scenic spot – in New Taipei City on May 15, 2021. Sam Yeh / AFP

In a report from CNN Philippines on Sunday, acting Philippine representative to Taiwan Gilbert Lauengco said that the order is effective from May 15-21.

The deferment order seeks to prioritize incoming Taiwanese nationals who are required to spend 21 days in a quarantine facility upon arrival in the country, Lauengco said.

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Manila said there are no quarantine facilities available for Overseas Filipino Workers )OFWs) this is why they need to wait for the deferment ban to end on May 21.

On Saturday, authorities raised the alert level for Taipei and New Taipei City after 180 new domestic coronavirus infections were confirmed.

“They hope the Level 3 restriction will lower the local transmission. The restrictions are being strictly complied with here in Taiwan. Hopefully, this situation is very temporary,” Lauengco told CNN.

“It can be mitigated if there will be more available quarantine facilities because according to the Taiwan government, it is more than willing to lessen the deferment of foreign migrant workers if there will be additional quarantine facilities,” he added.

The affected Filipino migrant workers were urged to coordinate with their agencies through the Labor Department and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration for immediate assistance.