02 November 2011

OFW ban


The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Tuesday banned the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) to 41 countries, officials said Tuesday.
However, the identities of the 41 countries – which failed to comply with the requirements of Republic  Act 10022 or the Amended Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 – were not made available to media.
POEA Administrator Carlos S. Cao Jr., citing suspension of office operations due to the long holiday break, said he could not provide the list as it is in his office. He assured that the list will be posted in the POEA website within the week.
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, the chairperson of the POEA governing board (GB), said in a statement that the ban is in line with the certifications issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
“GB Resolution No.7 specifies a list of 41 countries where OFWs cannot be deployed for non-compliance with the guarantees required under R.A. 10022,” Baldoz said.
Under RA 10022, DFA is required to certify host countries if they have labor laws, multilateral conventions, bilateral agreements with the Philippines, or other concrete measures to protect the rights of OFWs.
The POEA will then impose a deployment ban on non-compliant countries, while allowing the continuous deployment of OFWs to compliant countries.
However, the labor secretary explained the ban on these non-compliant countries is only tentative since they could still later negotiate with the Philippines.
She also said this will not cover international companies and contractors with operations in non-compliant countries unless it has an existing ban.
Baldoz said the GB also issued another resolution covering 49 other countries, which complied with government’s requirements for the protection of OFWs.
“GB Resolution No. 6, specifies a list of 49 countries, where OFWs can be continually deployed,” Baldoz said.
This brings the total number of compliant countries to 125, after the POEA had earlier certified 76 countries last May, most of which are from Europe and America.
Baldoz said the two resolutions will take effect 15 days after publication in national newspapers.
By SAMUEL MEDENILLA
Manila Bulletin

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