ON THE heels of strong calls for the lifting of the deployment ban in Iraq, on organization of Filipino and Lebanese businessmen renewed calls for the lifting of the similar one imposed in the West Asian country.

In a statement, Filipino-Lebanese Friendship Community President Abdul Kader Al Jadid said the government should continue considering the partial lifting of the ban in deploying overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Lebanon.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

“We appeal for the Philippine government to allow Lebanese recruitment companies to bring in to Lebanon skilled categories other than household service workers since thousands of other positions are needed to fill up the present demand for hotel, service staff and construction jobs,” said Al Jadid.

He noted that the country continues to experience rapid growth in the tourism industry and still needs thousands of Filipinos in the hotel, hospitality and construction industries.

Among the employment opportunities in the country are waiters, waitresses, chambermaids, receptionists, salesladies, skilled construction workers like carpenters, electricians, hvac technicians, scaffolding, welders, plumbers, and fabricators.

“Lebanese companies prefer OFWs for their ability to speak English and their renowned brand of service and hospitality are appreciated in Lebanon,” stressed Al Jadid.

Al Jadid also noted that the increase in the number of tourists and business boom are the solid proofs that peace and order has returned to the country and has since become stable.

Back in July 2006, the Philippine government suspended the OFW deployment to Lebanon following the escalation of violence between Hezbollah fighters and Israeli forces.

This was followed by the numerous labor abuse violations committed by Lebanese employers of household service workers (HSWs) thus preventing the government from lifting the ban.

The recruitment sector has placed the number of OFWs in Lebanon at more than 25,000 despite the imposition of a ban.

Over the past few weeks, several sectors have been calling on the Philippine government to lift the ban in Iraq in the wake of the United States (US) Central Command (CENTCOM) order for the removal of all Filipinos currently deployed in Iraq by August 9 in respect to the laws of the host country and nations with deployment bans imposed.

No decision has been made yet on the fate of the ban in Iraq. (AMN/Sunnex)