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PH bans new worker deployments in 3 countries

OFWs from Libya INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—As conflicts in the tumultuous regions of East Africa and the Middle East continue to rage, the Philippine government has begun imposing both partial and total bans on Filipino worker deployment in Kenya, Israel as well as the Gaza Strip and West Bank in Palestine, prohibiting newly hired overseas Filipino workers to be sent there.

In one of the  advisories posted on its website, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration announced it has imposed a temporary ban on worker deployment to Kenya after the Department of Foreign Affairs hoisted Crisis Alert Level 2 in the East African country beset by security concerns.

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“The POEA Governing Board hereby resolves to impose a temporary suspension of the processing and deployment of newly hired OFWs to Kenya,” said the POEA Governing Board resolution NO. 16-2014 posted on its website.

However, the POEA said the ban on deploying newly hired workers does not include those employed by the United Nations and its affiliate agencies.

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Under the Alert Level 2, the POEA would still allow the deployment of vacationing workers to Kenya.

“The processing and deployment of vacationing and returning workers to the said country, subject to their compliance with documentation requirements, shall be allowed,” the POEA said.

On July 11, the DFA raised the alert level in the African country, citing reports that the peace and order situation there has continued to deteriorate, posing risks to an estimated 440 Filipinos there, most of whom are in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital.

The outbreak of violence began last month in Kenya when Somali extremists attacked a town, assaulted police and set establishments on fire.

In a separate development, the POEA has likewise disallowed the processing and deployment of all OFWs to strife-torn Gaza Strip, West Bank and Israel.

The POEA imposed a total deployment ban in the Gaza Strip as the Crisis Alert Level 4 was recently raised and a quick response team from the POEA was directed to closely coordinate with the DFA on immediate and safe repatriation of OFWs from the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, in another two resolutions, the POEA ordered the temporary suspension in the deployment of OFWs bound for West Bank and Israel.

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Returning and vacationing OFWs are however allowed to go back to those two areas if document requirements are supplied to the agency.

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TAGS: Armed conflict, East Africa, Gaza Strip, Israel, Kenya, Middle east, OFW, Overseas Filipino workers, West Bank
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