Monday, July 2, 2012

32 countries 'safe' for OFWs

..MANILA -- Thirty-two new countries have passed the mandatory certification process of the amended Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act or Republic Act (RA) 10022.

"The POEA Governing Board resolves to include in the list of compliant countries, including partially-compliant, without prejudice to negotiations for the protection of the rights of household service workers and/or other categories of workers," reads Resolution no. 8 of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Governing Board.

These certified countries include Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Botswana, China, Dominican Republic, Timor Leste, Iran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kiribati, Kuwait, 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.

Section 3 of RA 10022 states, the Philippine government will only allow deployment if the host country “has existing labor and social laws protecting the rights of workers; is a signatory to and/or a ratifier of multilateral conventions, declarations or resolutions relating to the protection of workers; and has concluded a bilateral agreement or arrangement with the government on the protection of the rights of OFWs”.

The countries were identified as either compliant or non-compliant based on the certifications of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the different Philippine posts in host countries.

The latest batch brings to 188 the countries found to be safe destinations for OFWs by the POEA.

Deployment of Filipino workers in non-compliant countries is not allowed, according to the resolution dated June 28.

"(The POEA) resolves finally that those countries, which are not included in the list of compliant countries as enumerated herein and in Resolutions 2 and 6 of 2011 and Resolution 7 of 2012, are deemed non-compliant in accordance with RA 10022," the resolution said.

Countries listed in Resolution no. 2 are Angola, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guam, Guatemala, Guyana, Jamaica, Mexico, Northern Marianas, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, United States of America, Venezuela, Albania, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, and Hungary.

Also in the list are Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Turkey, United Kingdom, Australia, Brunei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Laos, Macau, Maldives, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Myanmar, New Zealand, Palau, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Vietnam, Israel, and Oman.

Resolution no. 6 listed Armenia, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bermuda, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo Republic, Cook Islands, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, and Guyana.

Also allowed to employ OFWs are Iceland, Cote d'Ivoire, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malta, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Norway, Puerto Rico, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, and Ukraine.

In Resolution 7, the compliant countries include Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Croatia, Dominica, India, Nauru, Pakistan, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Tonga, Turks and Caicos, Tuvalu, US Virgin Islands, and Vanuatu.

Also declared as safe havens for OFWs are Andorra, Bulgaria, Djibouti, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Honduras, Moldova, Nicaragua, Samoa, Singapore, and Thailand.

However, the POEA stressed that the deployment bans will not include Vatican, Monaco, Iraq, and Libya as their reviews have yet to be completed. (HDT/Sunnex)