DOLE: POLO validation needed for fully vaccinated returning OFWs

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 6) – Returning Overseas Filipino Workers who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will need to have their vaccination card or certificate validated by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III announced the directive on Tuesday in compliance with the Inter-Agency Task Force Resolution No. 123-C.

The Department of Labor and Employment established an online portal (https://www.onehealthpass.com.ph/e-HDC/) where returning OFWs need to upload their proof of vaccination, valid passport or travel document, and verified employment contract which will be verified by the POLO in their host country.

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration chief Hans Leo Cacdac said the Bureau of Quarantine will issue the POLO-verified certification of full vaccination to the returning OFWs upon their arrival in the Philippines.

"The Bureau of Quarantine will issue the certification upon arrival to the OFW, which will entitle the OFW to a seven-day quarantine stay," Cacdac told CNN Philippines' Newsroom Ngayon on Tuesday.

When the returning fully vaccinated OFWs travel to their home provinces after completing their seven-day quarantine, Cacdac said the negative swab test result conducted on the fifth day of quarantine will suffice if local officials require such proof.

The IATF said in its Resolution No. 123-C that travelers who have been fully vaccinated overseas against COVID-19 shall undergo shorter quarantine period.

Those who have completed their COVID-19 vaccination abroad and have stayed exclusively within the 57 "green" countries or low-risk ones 14 days prior to their arrival will be subject to a seven-day facility-based quarantine. Passengers must undergo RT-PCR testing on their fifth day under quarantine in an accredited facility, the task force added.

READ: IATF releases list of 'green' states

The DOLE Department Order No. 226 also identifies a fully vaccinated OFW as "individuals who received more than or equal to two weeks after having received the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine in 2-dose series; or more than or equal to two weeks after having received a single-dose vaccine."