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PH Amb. says Australia keen on hiring Filipino workers despite pandemic

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PH Amb. says Australia keen on hiring Filipino workers despite pandemic

PH Ambassador to  Australia Ma. Helen Dela Vega during her Laging Handa interview. (Screen grabbed from PTV4’s Laging Handa Public Briefing)

PARAÑAQUE CITY, July 10 (PIA) — Philippine Ambassador to Australia Ma. Helen Dela Vega said there is a continuing interest in hiring workers from the Philippines in spite of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. 

“Notwithstanding this COVID situation that we are in, nakakatanggap na rin po ang ating Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) ng mga job orders, nagkakaroon na ulit ng interes para kumuha ng mga manggagawa na galing sa Pilipinas. (Notwithstanding this COVID situation that we are in, POLO has been receiving job orders, an interest in hiring workers from the Philippines is there again.)” Dela Vega said during the Laging Handa public briefing on Thursday.

Dela Vega said most job requirement for Filipinos in Australia are for welders, electrical engineers, and in agriculture sector, like in cattle and pig farming. “Ine-expect po namin na sooner or later, hopefully before the year is over, na mare-resume po ulit ang hiring of Filipino workers dito sa Australia. (We are expecting that sooner or later, hopefully before the year is over, Australia would resume hiring Filipino Workers.)” she added. 

“There are about 70,000 Filipinos, and as of this time, wala pa hong report na may Pilipino na affected (with COVID-19) sa mga towns na affected surrounding Melbourne and other areas. (There are about 70,000 Filipinos, and as of this time, there is no report of any affected Filipino (with COVID-19) from the affected towns surrounding Melbourne and other areas.)” Dela Vega said.

She also shared that seven sweeper flights have been completed in the effort to repatriate Filipinos in Australia. There is also one scheduled Philippine Airlines flight to leave Sydney on July 25. 

Dela Vega said that the Embassy is working to extend help and support around 17,000 Filipino students in Australia, along with thousands of Southeast Asian international students affected by the pandemic through the ASEAN-Canberra Committee. 

Along with this, she said around 700 Filipino workers have received cash assistance from the government under the Labor department’s AKAP program. 

As of Wednesday, July 8, 2020, there are about 8,806 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia and 106 reported deaths. (PIA-NCR)