Vice President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday urged overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) returning from Ebola-hit countries to be patient while undergoing quarantine procedures to prevent the entry of the deadly virus.
“I ask for the patience and understanding of our OFWs as they undergo Ebola screening procedures. This is for the protection of their own families,” Binay, the Presidential Adviser on OFW Concerns, said.
“Quarantine is a necessary measure to ensure that the Ebola virus does not reach our shores. We have to err on the side of caution,” he added.
Filipinos who return from Ebola-stricken countries will have to undergo a 21-day screening before they are allowed to travel back to the country.
The Vice President noted that as one of the world’s leading labor-exporting countries, the Philippines is more vulnerable to a massive outbreak of the Ebola virus.
He stressed the need for a tight screening and surveillance in all ports of entry.
“The DOTC [Department of Transportation and Communications] is a key player here and must be on top of this,” the Vice President said.
“At the same time, we need to roll out an intensive information campaign that will educate the public on what the disease is, its symptoms, and how to prevent and contain its spread,” he added.
“We also need to identify the hospitals with capability to stabilize and treat Ebola patients suspected of being infected. Isolation facilities, trained personnel and required equipment must be all available at these hospitals,” the Vice President said.
Binay assured OFWs returning from Ebola-hit countries of the government’s assistance as they look for employment elsewhere.
“We will also provide them with training and livelihood assistance should they decide to remain in the country,” he said.