The Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) on Monday warned Taiwan-bound Filipino workers against the use of fake vaccination cards as Taiwan is set to reopen its doors to migrant workers.
MECO labor official and lawyer Cesar Chavez Jr. said that a legitimate vaccination card is one of the requirements for migrant workers entering Taiwan.
The Republic of China (Taiwan), he said, is likely to allow the entry of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) before or after the Lunar New Year which occurs between 29 January to 14 February when more quarantine facilities are expected to be available.
“We are just waiting for the reopening of Taiwan which is likely to happen before the Chinese New Year or immediately after the Chinese New Year, they would like to clarify some issues with us such as vaccination cards,” Chavez related to Daily Tribune’s digital morning program Gising Na!
“They are asking for a sample copy of the Philippine-issued vaccination card because they caught people who used fake vaccination cards before the closure of their borders,” Chavez said.
He noted that the Taiwan government issued a warning against the use of forged vaccination cards after foreign travelers were caught using fake Covid-19 vaccination certificates.
“Actually, we are not the ones who got caught. I will not say from what country they came from, but when their workers landed in Taiwan, they presented fake vaccination cards,” he added.
Chavez said thousands of Filipino workers are currently waiting for Taiwan to reopen its doors for migrant workers after it closed its borders in May 2021 due to a surge in the number of local Covid-19 cases.
“For now, we are seeing no problem with it since 40 percent of the 5,000 Taiwan-bound Filipinos are directly hired by members of the responsible business alliance or RBA,” he said.
According to Chavez, RBA companies shoulder all of the expenses of OFW including the additional pre-deployment expenses such as RT-PCR Covid-19 test and quarantine.
“The other 60 percent of 5,000 Taiwan-bound Filipino workers have nothing to worry about since the issue with the additional pre-deployment expenses has been settled since January 2021,” he said.
He is referring to the Memo Circular 1 of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) issued in January 2021 which explicitly provides that pandemic fees prior to deployment shall be shouldered by the agency at no cost to the worker.
Chavez said recruitment agencies that will violate the memorandum circular will be sanctioned by the POEA.