Sunday, December 5, 2010

DOLE: OFW deployment to South Korea to resume Dec 7

The deployment of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to South Korea will resume Tuesday as the situation in the area has stabilized, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said on Monday.

DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said 160 Filipino workers, including the 55 workers who were supposed to fly to South Korea on November 30, will push through with their flights on Tuesday.

"Wala namang risk according to the report of [Special Envoy Roy] Cimatu. He gave the go signal na pwede na silang ideploy as scheduled so wala na tayong delay," Baldoz told Palace reporters in an ambush interview in Manila.

The DOLE announced on November 27 that it was deferring the flights of Filipino workers to South Korea due to tension in the Korean Peninsula that was caused by North Korea's firing of a barrage of artillery on a South Korean island near a disputed western border on November 23. 

The attack set buildings ablaze and killed at least two Marines. 

Baldoz said the OFWs' flights were only rescheduled. The processing of their contracts with their employers was not canceled, she said.

The labor chief said the Philippine government will make another assessment on OFW deployment should tensions escalate again in the Korean Peninsula.

Cimatu was sent to South Korea with a team from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to evaluate the security situation in South Korea.

Cimatu was tasked to assess the level of awareness and preparedness of some 50,000 Filipinos in South Korea, and to test the embassy's contingency plan.

President Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III earlier said the Philippine government isready to evacuate Filipinos in South Korea should there be a need to do so. – VVP, GMANews.TV

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