The Philippine Embassy in Singapore, through the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), conducted its first ever virtual Post Arrival Orientation Seminar (PAOS) in the city-state on 25 October 2020. Attended by 83 Filipino domestic workers, mostly newly-arrived from the Philippines, the virtual PAOS was streamed live on Facebook, with more than 1,900 views. The Embassy has been regularly conducting PAOS at its premises but health protocols and safe distancing measures prompted it to hold its latest orientation program via Zoom video platform. During the virtual PAOS, the worker attendees were oriented on Singapore’s social and labor laws, customs, traditions, practices, political structure and overall law and order situation.
Ambassador Joseph del Mar Yap led Embassy officers in reminding domestic workers on how to properly conduct themselves in the city-state as he wished them a pleasant living and working experience under their employers’ households. He asked them to be responsible and law-abiding residents of Singapore and to help maintain the positive image of Filipinos in the community. He also advised them to help one another in the traditional spirit of bayanihan, for which Filipinos are known for.
Labor Attaché Saul De Vries said that PAOS complements the pre-departure seminar that Filipino domestic workers undergo before leaving for overseas work. It also serves as an opportunity for them to be oriented on the programs and services of the Philippine Embassy and its attached agencies including POLO, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Social Security System (SSS) and Pag-IBIG.
Embassy officials who served as resource speakers in the virtual PAOS were Consul General Adrian Bernie Candolada, Consuls J. Anthony Reyes, Gonaranao Musor, Laarni Zorayda Gandarosa, Vice Consul Jhullie Anne Beniahan, Labor Attaché De Vries, ATN Officer Allan Casupanan, OWWA Officer Zara Zita Reyes, SSS Representative Lucille Blesilda Simbol and Pag-IBIG Representative Christian Jan Oliveros. Assistant Labor Attaché Macy Monique Maglanque moderated the entire proceeding.
Employment agencies in Singapore played an important role in the success of the PAOS as they facilitated the participation of their deployed domestic workers. The event was supported by Philippine-affiliated companies in Singapore including Afreight Cargo Pte. Ltd., BDO Singapore, LBC Express, Metro Remittance Singapore Pte. Ltd., Philippine National Bank Singapore and PLDT Singapore.