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MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is sending aid to Filipino workers affected by the weeks-long lockdown in Shanghai, China, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said on Saturday, April 23.
“Nagpadala po tayo ng pagkain at medisina sa kanila (We have sent them food and medicine),” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a Laging Handa briefing.
Bello said that while the DOLE has no office China, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) identified the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) that needed aid in the area. He said that the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, which is under DOLE, was ready to give financial assistance.
“A soon as ma-identify natin sila (we identify them), upon the instruction of DFA, we will give them the usual grant of $200 per OFW,” Bello said.
The Philippine consulate in Shanghai said in an April 12 release that the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government had been “doubling efforts” to attend to city residents’ concerns, particularly in their access to essential supplies.
There are an estimated 4,000 Filipinos in Shanghai, the consulate said.
The Commission on Elections had also postponed the start of the Philippine overseas election in Shanghai, China’s biggest city, due to the COVID-19 surge.
The Shanghai city government also earlier said on its official WeChat account that infections were showing a “positive trend” and that life could return to normal soon as long as people stuck to strict rules to curb the spread of COVID-19.
However, some Shanghai districts tightened mobility restrictions. Even in neighborhoods that met criteria for people to be allowed to leave their homes, officials ordered them to stay put, fraying nerves in families who have endured weeks of isolation. – with reports from Reuters/Rappler.com