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Plans for online PAOS bared amid coronavirus spread

04 March 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao  

Labatt Dizon says online PAOS will have 4 modules and the worker will have to print her own certificate 

Post-arrival orientation seminars for newly deployed Filipino domestic workers have been suspended by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office due to the novel coronavirus epidemic.

But the seminars will be replaced by an online PAOS in about three months, said new Labor Attaché Melchor Dizon in a meeting with Filipino community leaders at the Consulate on Mar 1.
Labatt Dizon said the online PAOS will consist of four modules that a newly arrived domestic worker will have to accomplish and submit using a computer or his/her mobile phone. He/she will then print out an online certificate.

The mechanics of the online version, however, are still a grey area. For example, it is still unknown what its components are, how long the seminar will take online, and how Polo can ensure that the worker did finish all the modules.

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Issues such as availability of internet connectivity and device to the new worker, as well as a guarantee that he/she understood the content of the modules, are also expected to emerge as the online version gets under way.

Asked for more details, Labatt Dizon said he had  instructions to direct media inquiries to the head office in Manila, and only answer questions that had been cleared by Philippine Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.  

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The seminars used to be held Monday to Thursday at the Polo premises on the 18th floor of YF Life Tower at 33 Lockhart Road in Wanchai. Before the suspension, the PAOS was held for three hours, with about 100 workers attending each session.
 
PAOS sessions like this are no longer being held because of the coronavirus spread
But the onset of the Covid-19 contagion in Hong Kong has forced Polo to suspend the seminar in line with the host government’s appeal to avoid public gatherings to help fight the spread of the virus.

“Baka mamaya, pag nagkaroon ng transmission, isa pang sasabihin sa atin, ‘Bakit mayroon pang ganyang activity?” Labatt Dizon had said at the Filcom meeting.
“Kaya isu-suspend namin at yung mga agencies mag-iisyu na lang ng undertaking na isa-submit sa Polo o mag-o-online,” he said.

Labatt Dizon disclosed that the Department of Labor and Employment has a joint project with the International Labor Organization that may be finalized on Wednesday, Mar 4.

“So yung PAOS, hindi nyo na kailangang pumunta sa amin. Magla-log on na lang 
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