POEA to ban deployment of new OFWs to Ukraine

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A few days after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) raised crisis alert level 2 in Ukraine, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) is set to impose a deployment ban on newly hired overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who want to work there.

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Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said that the POEA governing board will deliberate on a resolution while awaiting the official transmission of the DFA’s recommendation on the situation in Ukraine.

“We will be implementing a deployment ban there [Ukraine] for new hires,” Baldoz said.

However, she clarified that the returning workers are to be excluded in the deployment ban. She explained that under the crisis alert level 2, returning workers are not covered.

The Department of Labor and Employment said that the alert level system of the DFA is prescribed under the Crisis Management and Security Manual, which guides the government’s action in times of crisis.

Alert level 2 calls for restriction of OFWs to places where there are visible signs of unrest and, “therefore, a temporary ban in the deployment of new workers in a restive country may be imposed.”

Recently, the Eastern European country that borders Russia on the east and northeast was rocked by civil disturbance that led to the formation of a new government.

Baldoz urged OFWs in the Ukraine to avoid nonessential trips and to stay calm.

The POEA data showed that only 115 OFWs were deployed to Ukraine in 2013 and 57 in 2012, or a total of 175, of which 41 were administrative and managerial workers while 30 were service workers.

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