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Aquino government renews commitment to OFW welfare; supports POEA deployment ban

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The Aquino administration renewed its commitment for the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) by supporting fully the deployment ban imposed by an overseas employment regulating body.

Despite the deployment ban issued by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), the Amended Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 also provides that the state shall allow the deployment of OFWs to companies and contractors with international operations that are compliant with standards prescribed by the POEA, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a statement on Thursday.

Citing the statement of Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, Valte said that the number of OFWs to be affected by the deployment ban in 41 countries would be very minimal.

“As an important pillar of the Philippine economy, part of our commitment to migrant workers includes expanding economic opportunities while ensuring their safety wherever they may be in the world,” she said.

The labor department said the ban will affect just over 200 OFWs, and those who have opted to come home can avail of the government’s integration program. It also said that the 41 countries affected by the ban are not considered major receiving countries for OFWs.

This week, the POEA ordered a deployment ban on 41 countries for the lack of guarantees ensuring the welfare of OFWs. The POEA said the receiving countries must have labor laws or conventions related to the protection of migrant workers.

At present, the Philippines has an existing deployment ban on conflict-affected countries like Somalia, Syria, Nigeria, Lebanon and also imposes partial ban to Iraq and Afghanistan.

By PCOO/PIA9-ZBST




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