PHILIPPINE INFORMATION AGENCY
New Washington, Aklan -- The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) reiterated here the government’s no-deployment policy in four countries – Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Jordan.
This is in the wake of wars and unstable peace and order condition in these countries which could put in danger the lives of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), according to Atty. John Rio Bautista, Chief, Workers Education Division of POEA.
Just recently, 10 OFWs were reported killed in a chopper crash in Afghanistan.
According to Atty. Bautista, if these workers were documented by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) their relatives could avail of government assistance. If they were undocumented, the agency which could assist is the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). Bautista said the POEA takes care of workers’ concerns and welfare while in the country.
The POEA was here in Aklan July 21 to conduct a 2-day seminar on Anti-Illegal Recruitment (AIR), held at the Sampaguita Gardens in New Washington. Participants included local chief executives, the Philippine National Police, Public Employment Service Office (PESO) managers of Aklan’s 17 towns, representatives from the academe, non-government organizations and the local media.
The seminar was also graced by POEA Administrator Atty. Jennifer Jardin-Manalili, who spearheaded the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing between the Provincial Government here headed by Governor Carlito Marquez, and some mayors of Aklan’s 17 towns.
At the Sampaguita Gardens Convention Center, 3 mayors – Mayor Gene Fuentes of Tangalan, Mayor Rex Gubatina of Madalag and Mayor Antonio Maming of Banga signed an MOU with the POEA for an Illegal Recruitment-Free LGU respectively.
The MOU signing is part of the “IR-Free LGU Program” of the POEA.
This program, according to the POEA, aims to strengthen and expand the local network of agencies and stakeholders to aid in stopping illegal recruitment at the local level. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)