POEA Governing Board bans deployment of 'new hires' to Kenya

Date Posted: July 15th, 2014 08:02 AM
 

 

POEA Governing Board bans deployment of 'new hires' to Kenya In view of the continuing deterioration of the political and security situation in Kenya, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Governing Board has banned the deployment and processing of newly-hired overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to the said country, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, POEA Governing Board Chairman, announced yesterday. “The deployment is in accordance with the Department of Foreign Affairs’ issuance of the Crisis Alert Level for Kenya from Alert Level 1, or Precautionary Phase, to Alert Level 2, or the Restriction Phase,” Secretary Baldoz said. The ban is contained in Governing Board Resolution No. 16, Series of 2014, signed by Baldoz, as Chairman of the POEA Governing Board; Hans Leo J. Cacdac, POEA Administrator and Vice-Chair of the Governing Board; and members Felix M. Oca, Estrelita S. Hizon, Alexander E. Asuncion, and Milagros Isabel A. Cristobal. “Under Alert Level 2, only those OFWs with existing employment contracts are allowed to return to Kenya, subject to their compliance with documentation requirements," Baldoz explained. “I encourage every OFWs in Kenya to be very vigilant and to contact the Philippine Embassy in Kenya in any eventuality,” she said. Government estimates there are 440 Filipinos in Kenya. In 2013, the POEA recorded 243 OFWs deployed in the said country, mostly composed of males and are in occupations related to skills needed in the manufacturing industry, such as precision instrument makers; tool makers; production workers; engineers, and laborers. Should the situation in Kenya worsens demanding voluntary or mandatory repatriation, Baldoz said that the government, through the DOLE, is prepared to provide returning OFWs from Kenya appropriate assistance services and programs under the new "Assist WELL Program", a reintegration package that addresses the Welfare, Employment, Legal, and Livelihood needs of repatriated OFWs. Under "Welfare", returning OFWs will receive assistance at the airport to facilitate procedures and formalities from the tube to airport exit. They will also be provided temporary shelter and free food at the OWWA Hostel while awaiting onward travel to their home provinces. The OWWA will likewise provide them transport assistance to their residence, such as transportation for those residing in Metro Manila, or boat/bus fare for those residing in provinces. For those who need emergency medical care, they will be referred to the airport clinic upon arrival and ambulance services, if necessary. If needed, they may also avail of counselling, especially those who may have undergone traumatic experiences. Under "Employment", returning OFWs will be provided with job placement/referral assistance for local employment through the employment facilitation services of DOLE-Regional Offices and Public Employment Service Offices. For those who wish to return abroad other than the country they were repatriated from, they will be referred to licensed recruitment agencies with POEA-approved job vacancies that match their qualifications. Through the TESDA, the DOLE will also provide competency assessment and certification to repatriated workers who wish to confirm whether they possess the competencies required in a preferred workplace. Skills training will be provided for those who desire to meet the standards. Under "Livelihood", repatriated OFWs may also avail of entrepreneurial development training, such as on financial awareness, self-preparation for entrepreneurial roles, business planning and business management, including livelihood skills training that includes provision of knowledge and skills development for self-employment and grant of livelihood starter kits, tools and jigs, and merchandise. The DOLE shall also provide them hands-on business mentoring and business consultation and counselling services, productivity advice, and business networking support for sustaining and expanding businesses. For those wanting to start a business but needs additional capital, they can avail of a loan between P300,000 to P2 million under the P2 Billion Reintegration Program Fund, or referral services to partner lending institutions. Under "Legal," repatriated workers in need of legal advice will be given such, including informing them of their rights and possible options for redress of grievances. Legal services also include conciliation proceedings to afford repatriated workers and their recruitment agencies a venue to discuss the possibility of amicable settlement; assistance in the preparation and filing of complaints for illegal recruitment, recruitment violation, and disciplinary action cases; and counselling during preliminary investigation and hearings of criminal cases for illegal recruitment. Baldoz said that because, by experience, most OFW-repatriates expressed preference to go back overseas in countries other than their original deployment destination, those who wish to go back abroad may visit the POEA’s Manpower Registry Division, located at the ground floor of the POEA Building. This office, headed by officer-in-charge Cora Orticio, can be reached through telephone numbers (02) 722-1172; 722-1176; and 722-9497. She further said that the POEA’s Manpower Registry Division will provide the information on POEA-approved job orders, countries of destination, licensed recruitment agencies, job position, and salaries so that the OFWs can compare and choose which countries they would like to work again in a similar position with more or less similar pay and other benefits. “They can also visit the Phil-Jobnet website (www.phil-jobnet.dole.gov.ph) where they will find local job vacancies,” Baldoz said. End/rhev



Created Aug 26th 2014, 13:16

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