SIXTY-two Filipino workers in Jordan are facing repatriation because of various health issues, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
The department’s public information chief Gerry Rubio on Tuesday said that the 62 Filipinos were among the 457 guest workers that the Jordan Health Ministry has ordered deported for their failure to pass the medical test.
But the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) clarified yesterday that they have yet to receive the notice of repatriation for the workers.
Rubio expressed belief that not all of the 62 Filipinos will be deported.
The Jordan Health Ministry recorded 356,045 guest workers at the directorate for medical check-up, and 457 of them were diagnosed with hepatitis B, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.
Among those who underwent examinations were 14,633 Filipino workers. Of this number, 35 were found to have tuberculosis while 27 others were afflicted with Hepatitis B.
“We don’t have the exact number of deported Filipinos but I believe that it is lower than 62,” Rubio told The Manila Times.
He pointed out that as a policy, the Jordan Health Ministry only expels workers with HIV/AIDS and pulmonary tuberculosis.
But according to Rosemari Duquez of the POEA’s Repatriation and Anti-Illegal Unit, no notice of repatriation has been sent by the Jordan Health Ministry.
“We have yet to receive a request for repatriation. Our POLO (Philippine Overseas Labor Office) in Jordan is checking if there is [a notice of repatriation]],” Duquez told The Manila Times.
Duquez said the agencies that recruited the workers should give assistance and shoulder the cost of their repatriation.
Earlier, Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd called on overseas bound Filipino workers to have their medical tests in clinics and hospitals duly accredited by the Department of Health.
“It is imperative for our workers to undergo a thorough medical check-up or screening by Department of Health (DOH)-accredited hospitals and clinics before they leave the country to avoid being deported due to some health restrictions. Some countries abroad are very particular when it comes to health issues,” Bello said.