Sa umpisa kong narinig ito sa headlines ng balita kagabi eh akala ko maraming maapektuhang OFW sa pag ban nila sa 41 countries na ito. Pero nung nakita ko yung list of countries that are included in this, eh kahit ako I’d rather stay home and look for more safer options para kumita. I don’t want to risk my life sa mga bansang ito.
The Department of Labor and Employment on Wednesday downplayed the ban by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration on the deployment of Filipino workers to 41 countries.
DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the ban will affect “a little over 200” OFWs, who she said can avail of the government’s integration program if they wish to return home.
“Kung sila uuwi rito, tutulungan natin ng integration program,” Baldoz said in an interview on dzBB radio.
She also said the 41 countries in the list are not considered major receiving countries.
On the other hand, she said many of the OFWs deployed to the 41 countries are employed by globally operated companies and are not covered by the deployment ban.
“Since hindi yan apektado wala yan effect (Since those working in globally operated companies are not affected, it will not be a major effect on our OFWs),” she said.
Earlier on Wednesday, the POEA ordered a deployment ban on 41 countries for the lack of guarantees ensuring the welfare of overseas Filipino workers.
In a resolution of the POEA Governing Board, the POEA said the countries must have labor laws or conventions relating to the protection of migrant workers.
“The Philippine Embassies/Philippine Missions have certified that the (41) host countries are not compliant with the guarantees provided under the (Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act),” it said in Governing Board Resolution No. 7.
41 countries covered by the ban covers
2. Antigua and Barbuda
5. Cayman Islands
9. North Korea
11. East Timor/Timor Leste
30. St. Kitts and Nevis
31. St. Lucia
32. St. Vincent & the Grenadines
37. Turks and Caicos
39. US Virgin Islands
In addition to the 76 countries the POEA deemed “OFW-friendly” based on its May resolution, the agency’s governing board has listed 49 countries that also have guarantees under the Migrant Workers Act.
Baldoz said the POEA Governing Board was mindful of Section 3 of R.A. 10022 which provides that “the State shall allow the deployment of overseas workers ONLY in countries where the rights of Filipino migrant workers are protected.”
She added the countries declared non-compliant can initiate negotiation and conclude bilateral agreements to address non-compliances, the POEA said in a news release.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Baldoz said the Philippine government can consider as ‘compliant’ countries taking positive, concrete measures to protect the rights of migrant workers based on the provisions of RA 10022.
She clarified that non-compliant countries may push for bilateral agreements with the Philippines to address the “non-compliances.”
She also said Filipino workers can still be deployed to companies with international operations in non-compliant “unless there is an existing ban to that country.
The Philippine government has an existing deployment ban to conflict affected countries like Lebanon, Nigeria, Somalia, Syria and partial ban to Iraq and Afghanistan.
For companies and contractors with international operations in non-compliant countries, deployment of Filipino workers will not be affected pursuant to Section 3 of R.A. 10022, unless there is an existing ban to that country.
Under Section 3 of R.A. 10022, the government recognizes any of the following as a guarantee for the protection of the rights of OFWs:
- It has existing labor and social laws protecting the rights of workers, including migrant workers;
- It is a signatory to and/or a ratifier of multilateral conventions, declarations or resolutions relating to the protection of workers, including migrant workers; and
- It has concluded a bilateral agreement or arrangement with the government on the protection of the rights of overseas Filipino workers.
“The Governing Board has thoroughly discussed and considered the DFA certifications and, in accordance with the law, issued the resolutions,” said Baldoz.
The POEA will publish the resolutions in two newspapers of general circulation. The resolutions will take effect in 15 days after the publication. — LBG, GMA News