Deployment of newly-hired OFWs to West Bank and Israel, temporarily suspended—Baldoz

Date Posted: July 25th, 2014 08:20 AM


Deployment of newly-hired OFWs to West Bank and Israel, temporarily suspended—Baldoz In view of the growing security concerns in Israel and Palestine due to the violent Israel-Hamas conflict, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Governing Board (GB) yesterday imposed a temporary suspension on the processing and deployment of newly-hired OFWs to Israel and the Palestinian-occupied West Bank, Labor and Employment Secretary and POEA Governing Board Chairman Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz announced yesterday. Earlier this week, the POEA Governing Board has also declared a total deployment ban to all OFWs bound for the Gaza Strip, also a Palestinian territory, and a mandatory repatriation for all OFWs who were already there. The ban is contained in Governing Board Resolution No. 18, Series of 2014. Signed by POEA Governing Board Chairman Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, Vice Chair and POEA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac and members Felix M. Oca, Estrelita S. Hizon, Alexander E. Asuncion, and Milagros Isabel A. Cristobal, Governing Board ResoIution No. 19 and 20, Series of 2014, was approved after deliberation on the recommendation of the Department of Foreign Affairs which had raised the Crisis Alert Level in Israel and the West Bank from Crisis Alert Level 1 to Crisis Alert Level 2. In the country's alert level system, Crisis Alert Level 2 is Restriction Phase and is issued if there are real threats to the life, security, and property of Filipinos arising from internal disturbance, instability, or external threats. Under this phase, Filipinos are instructed to restrict non-essential movements, avoid public places, and prepare for evacuation. "I strongly advise our OFWs in Israel and in the West Bank to be vigilant. They should avoid going out as much as possible, especially if they have nothing important to do outside. They should also stay alert and monitor the events in those areas. If they feel that their security and safety is compromised, they can always go to the Philippine Embassy,” Baldoz said. Also under Crisis Alert Level 2, only the processing and deployment of returning OFWs with existing employment contracts shall be allowed and the processing and deployment of newly-hired OFWs shall be suspended. “However, their deployment is still subject to their compliance with documentation requirements,” Baldoz said. In a online conference through Skype with POLO officer-in-charge Alice Lim, Baldoz had instructed the POLO to submit the list of areas in that country where there are large concentration of OFWs, including information on their distance from the POLO or Philippine Embassy. She also asked the POLO for the list of Filipino community organizations and leaders together with their contact details. Baldoz had also issued a deployment order to Labor Attache Merriam Cuasay to go to Israel and assist in providing assistance to OFWs, including repatriation, to OFWs who decides to go home. And since the POLO has no full-time POLO head, she had directed the International Labor Affairs Bureau to hasten the deployment of Labor Attache Rudy Gabasan to Tel Aviv. “POLO-Israel should keep open at all times all lines of communication with Filipino OFWs and community organizations in Israel, Gaza, and West Bank," she said, even as she directed the DOLE Quick Response Team headed by Philippine Overseas Employment Administration chief Hans Leo Cacdac to coordinate closely its actions with the Department of Foreign Affairs. End/rhev

Created Aug 26th 2014, 13:32


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