The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) confirmed that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) has resumed the grant of employment permits for domestic workers as well as employment permits of foreign workers in government and semi-government entities and vital facilities in UAE.

POEA said that last Oct. 5, ICA has resumed accepting applications for work permits through its website www.ica.gov.ae.

Despite this, the POEA reminded that strict health measures will still be implemented in UAE ports and pretesting of COVID-19 prior to the workers’ arrivals will remain mandatory. “Arriving workers to UAE will also undergo strict quarantine for 14 days to be shouldered by their employers or institutions in coordination with concerned authorities,” it added.

Meanwhile, the POEA also announced that the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
(KSA) has been instructed to resume verification of employment documents of OFWs.

This after the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) allowed international travel of non-Saudis, including the return of Filipino workers to KSA upon presenting a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR result taken within 48 hours.

“The verification of documents, however, will be limited to 50 percent of the usual volume processed by POLOs in KSA with strict social distancing and health protocols as preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19,” POEA said.

POEA reminded that all OFWs and foreign principals availing of POLO’s “Balik Mangagawa” and verification services are advised to secure online appointment at www.poloriyadh.com.

“Only 50 Balik-Mangagawa clients per day will be accommodated while only 20 clients will be accommodated by POLO on the verification of their employment contract,” POEA explained.

POEA added that the Saudi Recruitment Agencies (SRA) will also be allowed to submit their verification documents once a week. Accreditation of new principals, the renewal of accreditation of erring foreign principals, as well as the application of job orders/additional job orders from construction and mega recruitment companies remain suspended, however.

Aside from a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR result, POEA reminded that all foreign travelers to KSA, including returning OFWs, are advised to download the “tetamen” and “tawakina” application for health and safety purposes and “must adhere to the preventive health protocols of home quarantine as determined by the Health Ministry.”

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