Helpful Guide for Filipino Workers in Qatar on Covid-19 Outbreak

Helpful Guide for Filipino Workers in Qatar on Covid-19 Outbreak By A Robin Rajkumar - July 04, 2021

Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW)

Are you an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW)? Do you have concerns on your health and employment in Qatar in the recent coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak?
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) answered by the Philippine Embassy in Qatar and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) from their official online pages:
Will I receive financial assistance from the government while working in Qatar?
Workers across the local and overseas employment sectors who have been affected by the COVID-19 global pandemic are assured of government financial assistance through DOLE.
For details, call POLO at 55915961.
How much financial support I will receive?
DOLE’s COVID-19 Adjustment Measure Program or CAMP offers one time Php 10,000 financial support to employees of companies or business establishments that have adopted flexible work arrangements or temporary closure due to the outbreak.
How can I claim the amount?
Submit your certificate of employment issued by your agencies to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) - Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in Qatar
Your application will be evaluated and processed by POLO-OWWA
Coordinate with POLO-OWWA by calling: 3160 4400, 3164 6444 or 55915961.
The shop I am working at is suspended, how can I get support for food?
Qatar Ministry of Labor has announced that your employer should provide your food and basic necessities. 
What if I am currently in the Philippines as I was denied entry to Qatar due to the travel ban during the outbreak?
Visit your nearest POLO-OWWA regional office if you are currently in the Philippines. 
Submit your certificate of employment issued by your agencies.
Your application will be evaluated and processed by POLO-OWWA.
What if my visa or QID has expired while I am currently in the Philippines due to the travel ban?
You may renew your visa at MOI's official web page via this link or through Metrash2 app.
Will my visa and QID be extended automatically if they expire during this period of reduced government services?
To extend visas (or to check its status) follow this link on Ministry of Interior website
To extend QIDs (or to check its status) please use the Metrash2 app. 
Please refer to the Ministry of Interior website for up-to-date information.
How can I send money to the Philippines from Qatar?
All money transfer offices in Qatar are temporarily closed until further notice. You may opt to use online banking or other online money transfer options.
What if I do not have an ATM to use in sending money to the Philippines from Qatar?
You may use the International Transfers with Ooredoo Exchange service. It allows you to send money to any bank account directly from your Ooredoo mobile phone. For further instructions, check this link.
Can I still claim my passport from the office of the Embassy?
Yes. The Embassy is open from Sunday to Thursday, 7:00 am to 12:00 noon.
Can I still process my OEC?
Yes. You can still process your Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) in POLO-OWWA, from 7:00AM to 12:00NN, Sunday to Thursday.
I lost my passport and I only have a photocopy of it. It has expired and needs to be renewed, what should I do?
Your passport application will be under ‘lost passport.’ To know the requirements visit the Philippine Embassy's official webpage.
I want to renew my passport, what should I do?
Passport should be renewed 6 months before expiration but given the current situation, you may delay your application if you have no any travel plans for the time being.
Can I still travel from Qatar to the Philippines?
Currently, there are still flights from Qatar to the Philippines. You may coordinate with airlines or travel agencies.
Is there a travel ban for OFWs coming from the Philippines to Qatar?
Yes. All non-Qatari citizens are restricted to enter Doha.
Is it true that flights from the Philippines to Qatar will resume in April?
Qatar government did not provide a timeline for its travel restrictions. The Embassy advised Filipinos in Qatar to follow its official Facebook page for announcements and updates regarding this.
Can I go home after Ramadan?
Currently, there are still flights from Qatar to the Philippines. However, Qatar government has not yet announced any further travel restrictions.
I am returning to the Philippines this April, will I get quarantined once I arrive and will the government provide the expenses?
The government will provide accommodations for those who live in provinces and affected by the enhanced community quarantine. 
I want to file a complaint regarding my work, where can I send?
For labor concerns, contact POLO at 55915561 and assistance to nationals section at 66446303.
If I have a complaint or problem about my employment or accommodation during this time what can I do?
You should contact the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs at 16008 or by email at info madlsa
We are still working in construction and we heard a curfew is already implemented, what shall we do?
The Embassy and POLO continue to coordinate with Qatar's competent authorities regarding concerns of the Filipino community. However, expatriates should follow the country’s rules and directives.
Will I still be paid while I am in isolation, quarantine, or receiving treatment?
All workers in isolation, quarantine, or receiving treatment will still be paid basic salary and receive allowances irrespective of whether entitled to sick leave benefits.
If I am employed in sectors that have followed government instructions to cease services will I still receive my basic wage and other allowances such as food and accommodation?
Yes. You should still receive your basic salary and allowances from your employer.
Can workers contracts be terminated due to the crisis?
Employers have the right to terminate contracts. However, the termination of employment must be carried out in full compliance with the terms of the Labour Law and the contract, including the notice period and the payment of all pending entitlements including return ticket to home country.
Can I be requested by my employer to use annual leave or take unpaid leave to cover the period I am unable to work or due to the company offering reduced services?
It is important for all to collaborate through this period to minimize the damage for the benefit of both parties, taking into account the survival of the business and employment over the longer term.
Therefore, employers and workers may mutually agree that workers take unpaid leave or use their annual leave, if the business has been halted and the worker is not assigned any work. However, employers must continue to provide all other benefits, including accommodation and food.
If I am outside of the country and unable to return how will this affect my employment status?
The employer and the worker should discuss working conditions and benefits. You are entitled to refuse any adjustment to the contract. In case of termination of employment, this must be carried out in full compliance with the terms of the Labour Law and the contract, including the notice period and the payment of all pending entitlements.
Is it true that there’s already curfew around Qatar?
There is no announcement made yet by the Qatar government regarding curfews in Qatar due to the outbreak.
POLO-OWWA -  From 7:00AM to 12:00NN, Sunday to Thursday.
Philippine Embassy in Qatar - From 7:00AM to 12:00NN, Sunday to Thursday.
Read more about health and employment guidelines set by the Ministry in Qatar here.
Do you have more questions on OFW-related issues? Leave your inquiries or comments below and we will try our best to respond to your concerns.
By A Robin Rajkumar - July 04, 2021

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