Dole: No plans for mass OFW repatriation yet in Yemen

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Sunday, March 29, 2015


THE Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) said Sunday that there are no plans yet to implement mass repatriation procedures for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Yemen despite the worsening situation there.

In an interview, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said they are closely coordinating with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) regarding how to go about the ongoing mandatory repatriation in Yemen.

"We are still waiting assessment from the DFA on our country's ongoing repatriation efforts," said Baldoz.

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She assured, however, that they are ready to deploy labor personnel in case the need to augment OFW assistance personnel arises.

For his part, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) head Hans Cacdac called anew on OFWs to heed the repatriation calls already.

"Sa mga mahal nating OFWs sa Yemen, umuwi na po muna kayo gawa ng sitwasyon ho sa bansang kinalalagyan ninyo," said Cacdac.

He stressed that there is already an existing deployment ban for OFWs to Yemen, according to the POEA Governing Board Resolution No. 3-2015.

The resolution was issued as early as February 23, 2015 after the DFA raised Alert Level 4 (Mandatory Repatriation) in Yemen owing to the continued deterioration of the security situation there.

Recently, airstrikes by a coalition led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) have bombarded Yemen in a bid to counter the Houthi rebels.

In a related development, the POEA disclosed that the countries of Nepal and Uzbekistan are now among the countries and territories that have been certified as compliant with the guarantees on the protection of the rights of OFWs.

Based on POEA Governing Board Resolution No. 2-2015, there is now more reason to allow the deployment of OFWs in Nepal and Uzbekistan.

"The POEA Governing Board resolves to include Nepal and Uzbekistan in the list of compliant countries, where the continued deployment of OFWs shall be allowed," said the POEA.

This was after the DFA sent an official communication last December 2014 regarding the two countries being certified as compliant with the guarantees provided by Section 3 of Republic Act 10022.

Nepal and Uzbekistan have now been included in the list of 192 countries and territories already certified as capable of protecting the rights of OFWs. (Sunnex)

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