Some areas of Iraq are ‘no-go zones’

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MANILA, Philippines—The deployment ban to Iraq may have been lifted but four provinces in that strife-torn country remain “no-go zones” to Filipinos, the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) said on Saturday.

The POEA said Philippine and Iraqi diplomats had determined that overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) should not be sent to work in the provinces of Anbar, Ninewah/Nineveh, Kirkuk (Tamim, Al Tamim, At-Tamim) and Salahuddin/Salahaddin.

“The POEA board resolves to resume the processing and deployment of returning workers or rehires bound for Iraq, except for areas identified as ‘no-go’ zones,” the agency said in a resolution on April 17.

The POEA said the “no-go zones” were determined during the 7th Philippines–Iraq Joint Commission Meeting in Baghdad last month. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) then informed the Department of Labor and Employment about those areas.

The Philippines imposed a deployment ban to Iraq in December 2007 due to the “unstable peace and order situation” in that country.

But last Feb. 27, Manila lifted the ban after the DFA lowered the crisis alert level for the Middle Eastern country.

Philippine and Iraqi labor officials are still hammering out a bilateral labor agreement so newly hired workers could again be deployed to Iraq.

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