Oman officials seek audience with Bello after PH stops sending OFWs there

Here's proof that some countries simply can't afford to not have overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

(Photo Silas Baisch / Unsplash)

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III is meeting with his counterpart from the Sultanate of Oman Friday night June 18 to find a resolution regarding the Philippines' temporary suspension on the deployment of OFWs to the Western Asian state.

Earlier that day, Bello signed Governing Board Resolution No.05, which ordered the stoppage of OFW deployment to Oman. The two-page document was issued by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), an attached agency of the DOLE.

DOLE Information and Publication Service (IPS) Director Rolly Francia said that the meeting between the two labor officials was sought by the Sultanate of Oman itself "in reaction" to the deployment suspension.

"At batay po sa balita, tumawag po ang Ambassador ng Oman at nag-set po ng (According to an update, the Ambassador of Oman called DOLE to set up the meeting...they are reacting to the suspension of ," Francia told reporters Friday afternoon during a virtual press briefing.

It was only last Wednesday when an irate Bello said that he would halt the sending of OFWs to Oman after he learned that the Sultanate had banned the entry of travelers coming from the Philippines.

DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III (File photo / Screengrab)

"Whereas, on 14 June 2021, the DFA, in its letter to the , referred the directive of the Sultanate of Oman's Supreme Committee on (COVID-19) issued on 04 May 2021, which imposed a ban on the entry of travelers from the Philippines or travelers who passed through the Philippines less than 14 days prior to the application for entry, except for Oman citizens, diplomats, health workers, and their families," the Governing Board Resolution read.

In response to this, the Philippine imposed the temporary suspension on the deployment of Filipino workers to Oman "until such time that Oman government allows entry of our OFWs and Filipino travelers to the said country".

The POEA directive is effective immediately, and the response of Oman in seeking an audience with Bello to clarify matters is just as fast.

"Kaya magpupulong po mamayang gabi, bantayan po natin, magpupulong po ang Minister of Labor ng Oman at si Secretary Bello mamayang gabi upang pag-usapan at i-settle ang impasse nito sa restriction nila sa Oman at ang hindi natin pagpapadala ng OFWs sa Oman (That’s why Oman's Minister of Labor and Secretary Bello will have a meeting tonight to settle the impasse between Oman's restriction and our suspension of OFW deployment to Oman. Let's keep an eye on it)," Francia said.

Oman, officially the Sultanate of Oman, is a country on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia and the oldest independent state in the Arab world, according to Wikipedia. Its capital is Muscat.