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Gov’t checking on OFWs affected by Hanjin bankruptcy – DOLE

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said yesterday it is now tracking down overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who may be affected by the recent bankruptcy of a large shipping firm in South Korea.

Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III disclosed he has already ordered DOLE’s attached agencies to check if the financial woes of Hanjin Shipping Co. (HSC) have already affected OFW.

In compliance to Bello’s directive, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said it coordinated with the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in South Korea and local manning agencies to inquire if they have received reports of OFWs who were retrenched by HSC.

“So far, we have not received any reported displacement,” POEA deputy administrator Amuerfina Reyes said.

Bello urged displaced OFWs who are employed by the seventh largest shipping firm in the world to immediately contact DOLE through its new toll-free hotline to receive immediate government aid: 1349 for domestic calls; 800-8888-1349 for international calls.

“This is the Department’s contribution to ensure prompt and efficient government services to our workers. The 24/7 hotline services will also improve and strengthen employment promotion and respond to other labor related inquiries,” Bello said.

Last week, HSC filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States after its creditors threatened to seize its assets for failing to pay its outstanding loans on time.

Due to lack of funds, many of the HSC’s ships have already stopped their operations and are now stranded in different ports all over the world.