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Gov’t lifts workers’ deployment ban on Bahrain

MANILA, Philippines—The government has officially lifted the workers’ deployment ban to Bahrain after political tensions in the Persian Gulf country subsided, a ranking labor official said on Thursday.

Carlos Cao Jr., Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) chief, said Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz signed the order lifting the deployment ban on Tuesday afternoon.

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“We have again started processing and deploying both newly hired and returning workers to Bahrain,” Cao said in an interview.

He said Baldoz lifted the ban after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) downgraded the Security Alert Level for Bahrain from Alert level 2 to Alert Level 1.

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“Alert Level 1 means there is no more danger. Both newly hired and returning workers can be deployed,” Cao said.

He said the Department of Labor and Employment was advised by the Philippine Embassy in Bahrain as early as May 16 that it would be safe to again send workers there starting June 1.

“When that day came, other countries also lifted their bans but there was some confusion and the DFA said that only returning workers would be allowed to go there,” Cao said.

“But since we were already on Alert level 1, Secretary Baldoz issued the order lifting the ban to clear up the confusion,” he added.

Cao said the stock estimate of Filipinos working in Bahrain was 50,000 but the “actual figure might actually be less than that.”

The government imposed a deployment ban for Bahrain after protesters, mainly from the majority Shi’ite Muslims, took to the streets and called for reforms.

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TAGS: Bahrain, Overseas Filipino workers, Politics, Rebellion, Safety of Citizens, Unrest, uprisings
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