The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has imposed a total ban on processing and deployment of all overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Gaza Strip, West Bank and Israel.
A series of resolutions issued by the POEA governing board prohibited OFWs bound for Gaza Strip from entering the area because of “growing security concerns in Israel and Palestine” brought about by the Israel-Hamas conflict.
The POEA said the resolutions to stop migrant workers from going to Gaza Strip were based on the Crisis Alert Level 4 or the mandatory repatriation order issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on July 21, 2014.
Under Crisis Alert Level 4, a total ban on the processing and deployment of all workers is imposed and that the DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) Quick Response Team is directed to closely coordinate with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on immediate and safe repatriation of OFWs in the Gaza Strip.
Meanwhile, in two different resolutions, the POEA clarified that only a temporary suspension was imposed on OFWs bound for West Bank and Israel.
It, however, noted that those who are allowed to go to West Bank and Israel are subject to compliance with documentation requirements.
Recently, the POEA permitted some OFWs in certain categories to return to Libya.
DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said only OFWs working ofshore in oil rig platforms, Filipinos who are married to Libyans and OFWs employed in international organizations that maintain a presence in Libya are exempted from the total ban.
“Workers under these categories are allowed to return to Libya provided that their employers will issue a letter guaranteeing their safety, security and repatriation, in case the situation in Libya worsens and there is imminent danger to their lives and well-being,” Baldoz added.