Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - The Philippine government has lifted the ban on the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Nigeria, Libya and South Sudan.
Labour Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said Thursday that the governing board of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) issued three separate resolutions lifting the ban on deployment to the three African countries.
Baldoz cited POEA records that showed there are 2,152 Filipino migrant workers in Libya; 1,691 in Nigeria, and 1,941 in Sudan.
Baldoz said the POEA lifted the ban for Nigeria after the Department of Foreign Affairs earlier this month gave the green light due to the improved security situation in that country.
The ban on deployment of migrants to Nigeria was imposed on Jan. 22, 2007 due to the rise of kidnappings and unrest in that country.
The ban was partially lifted in March 2007, allowing migrants vacationing in the Philippines to go back to their jobs. But the ban was reimposed in January 2008 and was expanded to cover Filipino seafarers.
Baldoz said the ban for Libya was lifted after the Office of the President approved the recommendation of the Department of Foreign Affairs to lower the crisis alert level in that northern African country.
Manila barred migrants from going to Libya in February 2011 after the civil war that eventually toppled the regime of Moammar Gadhafi broke out.
The POEA partially lifted the ban in December and allowed only migrant workers with existing contracts in the oil and medical sectors to return to Libya.
"The gradual processing is no longer in effect as the governing board now allows the resumption of the processing and deployment of Filipino workers to Libya," Baldoz said.
The POEA board also lifted the ban on deployment to South Sudan, as the political and security situation in that country had improved.
The POEA imposed a total ban two months ago due to worsening political and security situation there.
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