Pinoys in Aussie resume work; tech-savvy OFWs beat pandemic in SG

Most Filipino workers in Australia have returned to their respective jobs after the lockdowns to contain the spread of corona virus had eased up, the labor department reported Tuesday.

This developed as OFWs in Singapore have started to hone their technical skills while at the same time eyeing opportunities in the emerging digital-based jobs.

In separate reports to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices in Canberra and Singapore said DOLE’s foreign posts are abreast with the conditions of the Filipino migrant workers online in view of the restrictions imposed by host governments to address the pandemic.

“It is inspiring that workers have now resumed their employments which gives hope to OFWs in Australia to continue holding on to their aspirations for a better life here,” POLO Canberra said in its report.

It said it launched a series of online consultations with OFWs all over Australia since last month designed to reach out to Filipino workers whose employment were affected by the pandemic.

“With interstate travel restrictions in place all over Australia, POLO Canberra did not allow these setbacks to impede the delivery of services to our OFWs,” it said, adding that the suspension of mobile consular missions hampered on-site services and personal consultations.

“It is through these virtual consultations, that POLO, as well as the participants have learned the best strategies to cope with the difficulties and showcased the resilience of our workers in the face of global crisis. The Filipino spirit is truly alive as each participant described the lessons they have learned and creative means they have adapted to ensure their sustenance along with their families,” POLO Canberra added.

It also said: “This also provided us with the crucial information regarding the viability of the industries in Australia for the continuing deployment of Filipino workers.”

In Singapore, meanwhile, Labor Attache Saul de Vries said OFWs in the city state have started to “take the path toward the acquisition of IT-related skills to enable them to seize emerging IT-based employment opportunities” amidst the global pandemic.

In his report to Bello, De Vries said our OFWs “remain confident and believe they will withstand this unusually difficult and challenging times.”

On Monday, De Vries addressed the migrant workers online on POLO Services: Transcending Time” during a seminar organized by the Philippine Bayanihan Society Singapore (PBSS).

Conducted through Zoom and broadcast live via Facebook, the webinar served as a platform for Singapore-based OFWs to learn more about the programs of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) for OFWs.

The webinar, the POLO Singapore reported, has registered thousands of viewers not only in the city-state but also from Cambodia, Indonesia, and other parts of the world.

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