Only OFWs Working with MNCs May Return to 9 Banned Countries

MANILA: The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has reiterated that the deployment ban for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to 9 countries facing violence stays on, and only those working for multinational companies are allowed to re-enter these countries.

The agency made the clarification on Monday, December 14, after an advisory it issued last Friday caused confusion that even OFWs with multinationals would not be allowed to re-enter Afghanistan, Chad, Cuba, Haiti, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Somalia, and Zimbabwe if they came home to the Philippines during the holidays, reported Rappler.

The one-paragraph Advisory Number 39, which was issued on Friday, December 11, only said that the processing of documents for workers bound to these 9 conflict areas would be temporarily stopped. No exemptions were mentioned, the report said.

“In light of the recent Audit Observation Memorandum (AOM) of the Commission on Audit (COA), dated 23 November 2015, recommending that POEA discontinue the deployment of Filipino workers to countries identified as ‘Non-Compliant’ with the protection guarantees provided under the law, all operating units are hereby directed to temporarily hold the processing of documents of workers bound to the following ‘non-compliant’ countries until further advice,” read the advisory.

“We shall just continue implementation of ban on restricted areas and exemption with regard to OFWs in multinational companies or companies with international operations,” Cacdac reportedly said.

“This was a case of an advisory we issued that had an unintended effect on concerned OFWs, so we [pulled] it out less than 24 hours since we posted it. I have been in email contact with OFW groups to clarify and assure them that they could take Christmas vacation to see their families,” he added.

Cacdac was also quoted as saying by Rappler that the POEA is discussing the findings of the audit observation memorandum with COA.



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