PH to redeploy workers to South Korea after easing of restrictions

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 7) — The Philippine government will resume processing documents for the deployment of workers to South Korea, after it resumed accepting migrant workers under its entry permit system (EPS).

The Department of Labor and Employment on Sunday said it has directed the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to also discuss with Korean authorities the requirements and procedures for the safe re-entry of workers to the East Asian country.

On Friday, Korea’s Ministry of Employment and Labor announced the easing of restrictions on more EPS workers from all sending countries, including the Philippines, before the end of the month.

The Korean Embassy in Manila said it is still awaiting guidelines on the issuance of the E-9, or non-professional employment, visas.

Philippine Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III meanwhile welcomed the relaxed rules, saying thousands of Filipino EPS workers have been waiting for their deployment since last year.

“This is a very good news not only to our EPS workers and their families, but also to the Korean employers who have been waiting for our workers to return,” he said in a statement.

According to Korea’s labor ministry, the workers will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as well as to present a negative RT-PCR test result, before departure. They will also be mandated to undergo quarantine and another swab test upon arrival in South Korea.

The deployment of Filipino workers to South Korea under the EPS, which began in 2004, was halted since June last year due to COVID-19 restrictions.