PH aims to deploy more OFWs to Iraq
MANILA, Philippines – The government aims to send Filipino workers to Iraq this year after six years of banned deployment to the country, Vice President Jejomar Binay said in a statement Tuesday.
As much as 10,000 Filipino workers could be hired in Iraq once the Philippine and the Iraqi governments sign a protocol implementing the Philippines-Iraq Agreement on the Mobilization of Manpower.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is coordinating with the concerned government agencies to finalize the protocol,” Binay said during a courtesy call of Iraqi Ambassador Ahmed Kamal Hasan Alkamaly last Monday.
The deployment of Filipino workers to Iraq was halted by the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) in 2007 after the United States invaded the Middle Eastern country.
POEA lifted the deployment ban to Iraq in March 2013 along with Yemen, and Eretria.
“However, the processing and deployment of new hires, except Household Service Workers, shall resume upon the conclusion of a Bilateral Labor Agreement with Iraq and the identification of the restricted zones,” Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said in a press statement on March 1, 2013.
Some 4,000 overseas Filipino workers were previously working in Iraq before the deployment ban, Binay said.
Alkamaly met with Binay to discuss bilateral relations and to look for ways of attracting Philippine companies to invest in the construction of infrastructure in Iraq.
Iraq is also looking to forge a partnership with the Philippine government for the recruitment of nurses for hospitals in the country, Binay said.
“We hope and pray that under the Iraqi Ambassador’s term, there will be greater bilateral relations between Iraq and the Philippines,” he said.
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