The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has ordered the total deployment ban of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Iraq amid tensions between the United States (US) and Iran.
In Governing Board Resolution No. 02, series of 2020 signed on January 10 and released Tuesday, the agency ordered to stop the processing and deployment of Filipino workers to the said country.
“Now, therefore, the POEA Governing Board in a meeting duly covered, resolves as it is hereby resolved, to impose a total deployment ban on the processing and deployment of all OFWs, including crew changes and shore leaves of Filipino seafarers in Iraq,” the order said.
It added the total deployment ban was imposed after the Department of Foreign Affairs in a letter dated January 8, to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) raised the alert level in the whole of Iraq to Alert Level 4 in view of the escalating tensions between the US and Iran.
The two-page resolution was signed by DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III, chairperson of the Board, POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia, vice chairperson and members Estrella Hizon, Felix Oca, and Alexander Asuncion.
Alert Level 4, which means mandatory repatriation of Filipino workers in crisis-stricken areas, was raised in Iraq after Iran launched a missile strike against two US bases in the country.
This is in retaliation to a US drone strike in Baghdad which killed top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani. (PNA)