UniTeam Alliance senatorial candidate Jinggoy Estrada on Tuesday urged the government to immediately dispatch a medical team that would take care of the needs of overseas Filipino migrant workers suffering from COVID-19 in Hong Kong.
A fierce advocate of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) welfare, Estrada said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) should ready isolation centers and treatment facilities to address the medical needs of OFWs in China’s financial hub which now faces a COVID-19 outbreak.
“We need to send teams of doctors, nurses and other medical personnel before the situation gets worse,” said Estrada, a former senator and chair of the Senate committee on labor and employment.
“I think we can do this now since the COVID-19 situation in the country has started to stabilize,” he further said.
According to Estrada, who is seeking a fresh six year term in the Senate in the upcoming May 2022 senatorial election, the families of the OFWs in Hong Kong have contacted his office for help.
“I’m convinced that the Duterte administration will spare no effort in addressing the concerns of our kababayans. But the situation should be treated with urgency; we must save our OFWs from the worrisome public health situation in Hong Kong as soon as possible” said Estrada.
He further said the DFA, DOLE and the Department of Health (DOH) should tap emergency funds to enable them to act with dispatch.
“In the meantime, I appeal to employers of our OFWs in Hong Kong to protect their workers against COVID-19 by keeping them indoors instead of abandoning them in the streets,” Estrada said.
The current pandemic situation in the former British colony has turned for the worse in the past several days prompting its authorities to cancel the Chief Executive election that was scheduled on March 2 to allow government to concentrate on addressing the public health problem.