THE Unites States Central Command (US Centcom) has directed the immediate removal of its entire Filipino workforce in Iraq.

In a two-page memorandum issued July 20, the Centcom Contracting Command ordered all its controlled agencies deploying Filipino workers in Iraq to comply with the order until August 9.

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“It is the contractor’s responsibility to ensure that it is not employing people from countries prohibited from entry to Iraq,” the order reiterated.

The US military unit noted that employing individuals that come from countries with deployment ban are in violation of the laws of the “host country”, which is Iraq, as well as “third country” laws such as the Philippines.

Aside from the Philippines, also imposing deployment ban to Iraq is Nepal.

This August, Centcom Senior Contracting Officer Richard Nolan is set to conduct inspections in all camps in the war-torn country.

“Contractors found to be in violation of contract requirements will be dealt with swiftly and severely,” stressed Nolan.

There is an estimated 10,000 OFWs currently deployed in Iraq with mostly employed by the US military and international agencies.

Since July 2004, the Philippine government has imposed a deployment ban in Iraq following the abduction of truck driver Angelo dela Cruz in Baghdad. (AMN/Sunnex)