OFWs warned vs crossing Oman boarders

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

MANILA -- The Labor department advised Wednesday run away overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) not to attempt to cross borders to Oman anymore as the Arab state has decided to tighten its rules on issuing working visas.

In an advisory, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz disclosed that Oman is not anymore issuing working visas to Filipinos crossing the border, particularly those from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

"I have received a report from our Philippine Overseas Labor Office (Polo) in Muscat saying that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Sultanate of Oman has issued instructions to its authorities in the Al Buraimi region not to issue working visas to Filipinos crossing the border from Abu Dhabi, UAE, without a no-objection certificate (NOC) from POLO-Oman," said Baldoz.

The decision was based on the representation of the Polo to the Oman government regarding OFWs crossing the Al Buraimi border.

Philippine Labor Attaché to Oman Ernesto Bihis said that the representation was made after 99 percent of "runaways" in the Filipino Workers Resource Center (FWRC) in Oman are mostly those who have crossed the border in Al Buraimi and were employed by Omanis without the intervention of local Oman recruitment agencies.

"For some time, they can enter Oman because they are not required to obtain no objection certificate from the Polo," Bihis said.

With this development, the labor chief said they are hoping to minimize the number of runaway OFWs from UAE occupying the FWRC in Oman.

"When this happens, our Polo in Oman can refocus its resources to developmental activities, such as training our OFWs in Oman for new occupational skills, entrepreneurial skills, and livelihood and self employment skills which they can use when they come home to the Philippines," Baldoz said.

Records of the Department of Labor and Employment show that there are at least 41,000 OFWs living and working in Oman while UAE employs some 600,000 Filipino workers. (AMN/Sunnex)

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