Vatican, Monaco still on list of unsafe places for OFWs
Is even the center of Catholicism now unsafe for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs)?
Not really, it simply appears to be a case of the bureaucracy at work—or not.
The Vatican is among 19 countries—including Monaco, North Korea, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan—that have yet to be certified as safe for OFW deployment by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Department of Labor and Employment said Monday.
Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) governing board had approved 32 countries—including Kuwait and Saudi Arabia—for inclusion in the list of countries compliant with the safety requirements of the amended Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act.
This has left 19 countries that have yet to be certified as being safe for OFWs. Of the 19, the POEA has yet to receive the certifications for the Vatican and Monaco, Baldoz said.
She said the 32 countries were certified as safe for OFWs after the Congressional Committee on Overseas Welfare Affairs asked the DFA to consider “partially compliant” countries as being “compliant without prejudice to negotiations for the protection of household service workers.”
The 19 countries that have yet to pass the POEA board review, aside from the Vatican and Monaco, were Afghanistan, Chad, Cuba, North Korea, Eritrea, Haiti, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Nepal, Niger, Palestine, Somalia, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe.
Under the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act, the DFA has to certify countries as having adequate protections for OFWs, with the certification approved by the POEA board, before deployment can take place. Philip C. Tubeza
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