POEA bans new OFWs to Kenya

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014


THE Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has imposed a temporary deployment ban to Kenya covering newly hired overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Based on POEA Governing Board Resolution 16-2014, newly hired OFWs bound for Kenya will not be allowed to leave the country for the moment until the improvement of the political and security situation there.

"Under Alert Level 2, the POEA has banned the deployment and processing of newly-hired OFWs to the said country," said Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz in a statement.

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However, the head of the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) said they will still allow returning workers to Kenya.

"Only those OFWs with existing employment contracts are allowed to return to Kenya, subject to their compliance with documentation requirements," Baldoz said.

Last week, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) had raised the crisis alert level in Kenya from Alert Level 1 or Precautionary Phase to Alert Level 2 or the Restriction Phase.

Baldoz, then, urged OFWs in Kenya to maintain contact with Philippine authorities there as the situation there persists.

"I encourage every OFW in Kenya to be very vigilant and to contact the Philippine Embassy in Kenya in any eventuality," said Baldoz.

She also assured them that the Philippine government is prepared to assist them in case the need arises.

"Should the situation in Kenya worsen, demanding voluntary or mandatory repatriation, the government, through the DOLE, is prepared to provide returning OFWs from Kenya appropriate assistance services and programs," said Baldoz.

POEA records show that there are about 440 OFWs in Kenya employed mostly as instrument makers; toolmakers; production workers; engineers, and laborers. (HDT/Sunnex)

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