OWWA to include MERS-CoV info in pre-departure seminars for OFWs

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A batch of 37 female overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) repatriated from Syria, arrive at 4 p.m. Friday (March 7) via EK 332. OWWA personnel and from Office of the Vice President (center photo) assist the returning OFWs upon their arrival at the Gate 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1. (MNS photo)

A batch of 37 female overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) repatriated from Syria, arrive at 4 p.m. Friday (March 7) via EK 332. OWWA personnel and from Office of the Vice President (center photo) assist the returning OFWs upon their arrival at the Gate 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) — Pertinent information about the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) will now be included in the pre-departure orientation seminar (PDOS) for overseas Filipino workers.

This was according to Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, who said the incorporation of MERS-CoV in the PDOS would inform Filipino workers on how to protect themselves.

A non-government organization, the Blas F. Ople Policy Center, has earlier urged the government to include the MERS-CoV in the topics discussed PDOS especially for OFWs bound for the Middle East, where the virus is said to have originated from.

Baldoz directed Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) chief Carmelita Dimzon to craft an advisory to all PDOS providers, including licensed recruitment agencies, in-house PDOS centers, associations, and non-government organizations to provide the orientation to all departing OFWs.

OWWA is an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment.

The PDOS is a country-specific, mandatory education and information orientation session conducted by the government for all departing OFWs to ensure that they are ready for their life of work abroad.

“While the PDOS has already a health module that provides knowledge and information on such diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Acute Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), and other infectious ailments, the MERS-CoV, being fairly news, is not included, so we better incorporate it in the PDOS,” Baldoz said in a statement Wednesday.

The advisory incorporating the MERS-CoV in the PDOS will be disseminated to the media and will be posted on the OWWA website. (MNS)

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