A Catholic bishop in the Philippines reminded Filipino migrant workers this week not to be complacent and to set aside unnecessary travel for the meantime.
“Don’t be complacent but be very careful and take much necessary precautionary measures,” said Bishop Ruperto Santos, vice chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People.
“It is for our common good and safety to set aside social gatherings and unnecessary travels,” he added.
He reminded Filipinos working and living abroad that “COVID-19 is not stopping, and not slowing down,” adding that “there is much danger of its mutations.”
“Always follow the directives of our Philippine embassies, listen to the guidelines of our Filipino chaplaincies,” he said.
“Cooperate with them. Let us all be helping and healing hands to one another.”
President Rodrigo Duterte has thumbed down the proposal to disallow the repatriation of overseas Filipino workers from the United Kingdom after the discovery of a new strain of COVID-19.
The president said he could not stop overseas workers from returning to the country, should they wish to come home.
“I abhor the idea of not allowing them to return home,” said Duterte.
About 3.8 million local workers and over 550,000 overseas Filipino workers have so far been displaced by the pandemic, according to the Department of Labor and Employment.
The workers are among employees who were either retrenched, permanently displaced, or “undergoing flexible work arrangements.”