The government of the Philippines has reportedly re-imposed a total ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to Iraq.
According to the Philippine Star, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) chief Hans Cacdac said the agency’s governing board has approved a resolution halting the deployment to Iraq.
“Until the security conditions have normalized, a total ban is imposed and thus processing and deployment to Iraq is hereby suspended”.
With the re-imposition of total ban, he said, the POEA would stop processing and deployment of Filipino workers, including those already employed in US military facilities in Iraq.
Late last year, the POEA allowed OFWs working in US military facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan to finish their employment contracts and take a vacation back home and return to their jobs.
Cacdac said the POEA governing board re-imposed a total ban following the decision of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to raise the alert level in Iraq to 3 due to escalating hostilities there.
Labor Undersecretary Danilo Cruz said the POEA automatically imposes a total deployment to countries placed under alert level 3.
The ban does not cover the Iraqi Kurdistan region.
Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said there are about 2,000 Filipinos currently employed in Iraq, and they are being encouraged to avail of the government’s voluntary repatriation.
(Source: Philippine Star)