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Monday, July 2, 2012

PHL labor officials list 32 more 'OFW-friendly' countries


Philippine labor officials have added 32 countries - including conflict-hit Syria - to the list of territories that meet Philippine standards on the protection of overseas Filipino wokers (OFWs).

According to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Governing Board approved a resolution adding the 32 countries to the list.
 
"Under this qualification, the POEA may continue to deploy OFWs to these countries and the Department of Foreign Affairs will continue to negotiate for the better protection of household service workers even beyond 12 April 2012," Labor Secretary and POEA Governing Board chairperson Rosalinda Baldoz said in a news release.
 
Those who signed the resolution were Baldoz, POEA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac as governing board vice chairman, and Leonardo de Ocampo, governing board member.
 
Baldoz listed the 32 countries as:
  • Algeria
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • Botswana
  • China
  • Dominican Republic
  • East Timor/Timor Leste
  • Iran
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Kiribati
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyz Republic/Kyrgyzstan
  • Lesotho
  • Maldives
  • Micronesia
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Mozambique
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Qatar
  • Serbia
  • Solomon Islands
  • Sri Lanka
  • Syria
  • Swaziland
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkmenistan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Yemen, and
  • Zambia.
 
Baldoz said these countries have been certified by the DFA last May 24, after a recommendation was made by the Congressional Committee on Overseas Welfare Affairs chaired by Rep. Walden Bello.

Based on the recommendation, the countries were found "to be compliant without prejudice to negotiations for the protection of household service workers."
 
"The 32 countries bring to 184 the total number of countries already certified by the DFA out of 203 countries. Only 19 countries now remain to be non-certified," the DOLE said.
 
So far, the countries still not certified as OFW-friendly are:
 
  • Afghanistan
  • Chad
  • Cuba
  • Democratic People's Republic of Korea/North Korea,
  • Eritrea
  • Haiti
  • Iraq
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Nepal
  • Niger
  • Palestine
  • Somalia
  • Uzbekistan
  • Zimbabwe
  • Monaco, and
  • Vatican.
 
Out of these 19 countries, the Board has yet to receive the certifications for the Vatican and Monaco, Baldoz explained.
 
The certifications for Libya and Iraq are currently being reviewed amid latest developments that may lead to the amendment of their respective certifications.
 
"The POEA Governing Board notes that the DFA has yet to complete the review of its previous certifications issued for Iraq and Libya," Baldoz said. - VVP, GMA News

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