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OFWs in Qatar want to stay amid diplomatic crisis

THE Overseas Workers Welfare Administration yesterday said overseas Filipino workers in Qatar want to stay there amid the ongoing diplomatic crisis.

OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said they have yet to receive any report that OFWs in Qatar want to go home but said they are on standby to assist in repatriation should there be any need.
 
“Wala. Wala pa tayong ganyang klaseng abiso o pagpaparamdam. And of course, sabi ko nga nakaabang tayo kung sinuman,” Cacdac said when asked if there are OFWs who wanted to go home following the ongoing diplomatic crisis affecting Qatar.
    
Cacdac said the situation in Qatar remains normal, noting that the OWWA is constantly in touch with Filipino workers.
    
“Minamanmanan pa rin natin ang sitwasyon, katuwang ang DoLE (Department of Labor and Employment) at DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs). At ang direktiba naman ni Labor Secretary Bello ay talagang always be in touch with Filipino community through communications directly o kaya social media o ano pa man,” he said.
    
The OWWA chief said based on their monitoring, tension has gone down and the situation has normalized compared to the first day that the news of the crisis broke out.
    
“But nevertheless, we are not letting our guard down. Alam nating maselan ang sitwasyon, although may tsansa pa talaga maresolba ito ay hindi natin bibitawan ito until ma-resolve,” he said.
 
On June 5, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain announced the severance of diplomatic ties with Qatar, over allegations that it is supporting terrorism.
    
Bello suspended the deployment of OFWs to Qatar following news of the diplomatic crisis.
    
The next day, Bello partially lifted the ban, allowing returning and newly-hired OFWs to Qatar.
    
Meanwhile, Cacdac said that the lifting of moratorium on the deployment of OFWs depends on the situation in Qatar.
    
Cacdac added that OFWs who were not able to leave for Qatar should not worry because DoLE has its “Assist WELL program” that provides comprehensive welfare, employment, legal, and livelihood assistance to OFWs.