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POEA bans new OFW deployments in Thailand

By: - Reporter / @santostinaINQ
/ 04:28 PM May 22, 2014

Philippine Overseas Labor Employment office. Photo from www.poea.gov.ph

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration has banned the deployment of newly hired overseas Filipino workers in Thailand following the declaration of martial law in that Southeast Asian country.

In a resolution issued on Thursday, the POEA Governing Board imposed a temporary suspension of the processing and deployment of newly hired OFWs bound for Thailand.

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On the other hand, the POEA said it would continue to allow the deployment of returning OFWs to Thailand.

“Only the processing and deployment of returning OFWs with existing employment contracts shall be allowed,” said the POEA.

The POEA resolution was spurred by the declaration by the Thai army of martial law last Tuesday amid escalating civil and political unrest in the country.

The martial law declaration also prompted the Department of Foreign Affairs to issue Alert Level 2 (restriction phase) to Filipinos in Thailand, advising them to avoid public areas.

POEA records show that the Philippines deployed an estimated 8,659 OFWs in Thailand in 2013, most of whom were employed as teachers, engineers, production and related workers, and composers, musicians, and singers.

In a separate statement, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz called on OFWs in Thailand to closely monitor the situation in that country.

“I strongly advise OFWs in Thailand to be vigilant, avoid public places, restrict non-essential movements, and stay in their houses as much as possible,” she said.

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