OFWs going to Hong Kong worry about unrecognized vax cards

Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) going to Hong Kong face uncerntainty after the Department of Foreign Affairs said HK was not accepting vaccination cards from the Philippines.

OFW Azenith Abrio and other Hong Kong-bound Pinoys are already running out of money while waiting for the government to resolve the issue.

“We came here in Manila [on] April 19, there are more of us, more than 10. We stayed in one transient house where we always stayed until now, from April to August, hanggang sa kung kailan kami makakaalis… we’re running out of money, wala na kami pera, wala na kami pagkain,” Abrio said.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Hong Kong does not accept the vaccination cards issued in the Philippines.

“Our vaccination cards are not accepted in Hong Kong because they are not connected to a single source. Poor OFWs (overseas  workers) going to their in Hong Kong even if jabbed,” Locsin said in a tweet on Tuesday.

Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje earlier said the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the Bureau of Quarantine are working to generate a digitized vaccination card.

She said digitized vaccination cards could be issued by the end of August or in September.

OFWs going to Hong Kong worry about unrecognized vax cards

The Philippine government had coordinated with the World Health Organization (WHO) for the COVID-19 vaccination international verification system guidelines.

Malacañang also said the government is working to address the issue on vaccination cards.

“We are finding ways and means now para magkaroon tayo ng basehan na kilalanin yung ating vaccination cards [to basis so that our vaccination cards will be honored],” said presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.

For now, OFWs can avail of a “yellow card” or international certificate of vaccination from the  Bureau of Quarantine.

In February, Senator  filed  Bill 1994 or the proposed “,” which urges the government to create policies for proper recording of the vaccine administration.

Vaccine Passport Act states that the vaccine record will contain the types and purposes of vaccines received by the holder, the batch numbers the vaccines belong to, dates administered, and the persons and institutions that administered the inoculation.

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