MANILA – Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz has announced a total ban on the deployment of overseas Filipino workers to the African country of South Sudan.
The resolution imposing the ban, was approved by the Governing Board of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, which she chairs, yesterday.
POEA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac, Governing Board Vice-Chairperson, and Leonardo De Ocampo and Guillermina Gabor, members, also signed the resolution for the ban.
To implement the resolution, Cacdac, issued an advisory to all concerned on the deployment ban.
Baldoz said the imposition of the ban was based on the request of the Department of Foreign Affairs, that had raised the crisis alert level in South Sudan to Alert Level 3 (voluntary repatriation) due to the deteriorating security situation caused by inter-ethnic violence in the country.
"We have to protect not only the welfare and interest of overseas Filipino workers in South Sudan, but also to prevent prospective OFWs from going there, hence the processing and deployment of all OFWs shall be deferred while the ban exists," Baldoz said.
"The deployment ban of OFWs to South Sudan stays until such time that it has been determined that its political and security situation has normalized," she added. Under crisis Alert Level 3, OFWs who wish to voluntary go back to the Philippines are offered repatriation at government's expense, and Filipinos are advised not to travel to a subject country.
In an advisory, Cacdac required all recruitment agencies who deployed workers to South Sudan to submit on the POEA's Pre-Employment Services Office a report on workers’ basic information.
These include the name and job category of worker; name, location and contact number of employer; deployment date; status and current whereabouts of deployed workers; and contingency plan/ measures ready in case of emergency repatriation situation.
Sudan is composed of the states of Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Western Bahr el Ghazal, Lakes, Warrap, Western Equatoria, Central Equatoria (containing the national capital of Juba), Eastern Equatoria, Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile.*PNA