Govt ready to deploy 40,000 OFWs to Taiwan

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 12) — The Philippine government said about 40,000 individuals can be deployed once Taiwan reopens its doors to Filipino workers.

"Pagdating sa number of OFWs na kaya nating ipadala natin dun, ang estimate ay about 40,000," Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) deputy administrator Bong Ventura told a virtual briefing on Saturday.

[Translation: We have estimated that the number of OFWs we can deploy there is about 40,000.]

Ventura added there are already 5,000 OFWs who are just waiting for the go signal. These workers were affected by Taiwan's ban on migrants in May of last year amid rising COVID-19 cases on the island.

RELATED: 5,000 Taiwan-bound OFWs stranded after order to 'defer' entry of migrant workers

Earlier this week, the Manila Economic and Cultural Office announced that Taiwan will allow the entry of Filipino migrant workers beginning Feb. 15.

The POEA official said Taiwan officials have set additional rules, including documentary requirements on vaccination cards, RT-PCR test results, and quarantine compliance.

"Walang babayaran ang workers sa additional requirements ng Taiwan, it's either 'yung employer or recruitment agency," he said.

[Translation: Workers will not shoulder the payment for Taiwan's additional requirements, it's either the employer or the recruitment agency.]

Meanwhile, Ventura said OFW deployment has started picking up in 2021.

"Ang mabilis naka-recover ay ang seafaring industry. Sa land-based deployment, it is much slower," he noted.

[Translation: The seafaring industry has recovered quickly, but land-based deployment is much slower.]

He also said almost 700,000 OFWs have been repatriated, adding the POEA is working double-time to help them secure overseas jobs.