By Ferdinand Patinio
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) – Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who have been inoculated with China’s Sinovac coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) jabs are allowed to enter Saudi Arabia, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said on Wednesday.
In a virtual forum, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said OFWs who have been vaccinated will still undergo quarantine once they arrive in the host country.
“OFWs that have been vaccinated, for example by Sinovac, they will be quarantined, the usual and then they can stay,” Bello added.
This came in the wake of social media posts claiming that Riyadh will not allow entry of travelers inoculated with China-made vaccines such as Sinopharm and Sinovac.
“I was contacted by our Labor Attaché Fidel Macauyag in Riyadh, KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) and he told me that those covered by the policy are foreign travelers, our OFWs are excluded,” Bello said in a virtual forum, without providing further details regarding the host country’s preferred vaccine brand.
He said they have yet to receive any official communication from other countries regarding their preferred vaccine brands.
In a Laging Handa briefing, Health Undersecretary and National Vaccination Operations chairperson Myrna Cabotaje said the government is aware that some countries prefer American pharmaceutical firm Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine over other brands to be administered to OFWs who plan to be employed in their nation.
Cabotaje cited the need for talks at an “international level” to identify the specific requirements, including Covid-19 vaccine brands preferred by countries where OFWs are employed. (PNA)