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POEA allows deployment of OFWs to Iraq, 2 other countries

News Release
Department of Labor and Employment
Philippine Overseas Employment Administration
1 March 2013

POEA allows deployment of OFWs to Iraq, 2 other countries

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday announced that the 
Governing Board of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, which she chairs,
has lifted the ban on the deployment of overseas Filipino workers to Iraq, Yemen, and 
Eretria and will now allow OFWs who would like to work in these countries to leave.

"The POEA Governing Board has issued three separate resolutions allowing the deployment 
of Filipino workers to Iraq, Yemen, and Eretria. The Department of Foreign Affairs has included
 Iraq in the list of compliant countries under Republic Act 10022, effectively lifting the five-year 
old ban to the said country," Baldoz said in a press statement.

Baldoz said that in its official communication dated 4 February 2013, the Philippine Embassy in 
Baghdad has certified Iraq as compliant with the guarantees of the law.

The DFA, in its letter dated 06 February 2013, haslowered the Crisis Alert Level in Iraq to
 Alert Level 1 (Precautionary Phase), withmandatory travel restriction to "no-go" zones 
to be determined by the host country.

Baldoz said the POEA Governing Board has agreed to lift the deployment ban on Iraq and
 resume the processing and deployment of returning workers or balik-manggagawa, or rehires,
 upon the submission of list of areas identified as“no-go" zones by the Iraqi government.

"However, the processing and deployment of new hires, except HSWs, shall resume upon
 the conclusion of a Bilateral Labor Agreement with Iraq and the identification of the restricted 
zones," she said.

She added: " I have instructed POEA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac to fast track the 
guidelines on the resumption of deployment of OFWs to Iraq."

Citing unstable peace and order situation, the same Board suspended the processing and 
deployment of all workers bound for Iraq on 17 December 2007.

In another resolution, the POEA Board has allowed the deployment of newly-hired and returning 
OFWs bound for Yemen with the lowering of the DFA issued Alert Level in Yemen from Alert 
Level 2 to Alert Level 1 on 29 January 2013.

In February 2011, the POEA has deferred the processing and deployment of all OFWs bound
 for Yemen in view of the unstable political and security conditions in that country.

On the basis of the certification by the DFA dated 21 December 2012, the POEA Board has 
also included Eritrea in the list of countries compliant with the requirements of RA 10020 where
the continued deployment of OFWs shall be allowed.

With the addition of Iraq and Eritrea, 189 countries and territories are now certified as compliant
with the guarantees on the protection of the rights of foreign workers provided under Section 3
of RA 10022.