For the safety of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), Philippine authorities have announced that nine countries are temporarily off limits as of the moment.
This was recently confirmed by Hans Cacdac, administrator of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). The nine countries on the list are Afghanistan, Chad, Cuba, Haiti, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Somalia and Zimbabwe. The suspension of deployment takes effect immediately this month of December.
The suspension was actually recommended by the Commission on Audit (COA) to the POEA because the following countries were found to be non-compliant. Currently, 194 countries are considered compliant to the Amended Migrant Workers Act provisions.
That law specifies that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and POEA will only allow deployment of Filipino workers to the countries that have been certified safe by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). Along with that, the Philippines and the host countries should have a bilateral agreement to make sure that the OFWs will have safe working conditions.
In a recent Philippine Star report, Cacdac was quoted saying “All POEA operating units are hereby directed to temporarily hold the processing of documents of workers bound for the identified non-compliant countries.”
Again, this move is done in an attempt to secure and protect Filipino workers from harsh working conditions. With this initiative, no OFW will be sent to countries that are not willing to ensure that workers from our country will be safeguarded.
In a related news, the POEA has announced December 10 that the ban of OFW deployment to Sierra Leone has already been lifted. This is a good news for those who want to seek employment in the country.
According to a statement, “The POEA Governing Board resolves to lift the deployment ban on Sierra Leone and to resume the processing and deployment of all OFWs, both vacationing and new hires.”