Gov’t lifts OFW deployment ban to Yemen

National Yemen

Philippine Labor Attache David Des Dicang (center) receives the Media Transparency Award from the Filipino journalists in Kuwait

Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have been allowed to seek employment in Yemen anew after the Philippine agency tasked to look after their rights has lifted a deployment ban to the Arab nation imposed in December last year.

However, newly-hired OFWs are still disallowed from seeking employment in the Western Asian nation, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said on Monday.

Filipinos can again work in Yemen “subject to proof of existing employment as determined by the POEA,” said Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, who is Chair of the POEA Board.

The ban was lifted after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) recommended that the crisis alert level be lowered to 2 from 3, the statement from the labor department said.

Crisis Alert Level 3 entails the voluntary repatriation of Filipinos in a country, while Crisis Alert Level 2 entails a restriction in travel to and inside Yemen.

The DFA cited “a general improvement of the political situation and environment in that country after the Southern Yemen Solutions Document was signed and a truce between the warring Houthis and Salafis tribes was declared.”

In December, a bomb attack at the Yemeni defense ministry complex killed seven Filipinos and injured 11 others, prompting the POEA to impose a ban on both returning and newly-hired OFWs to Yemen.

Of the 646 Filipino workers deployed to Yemen in 2013, more than half at 571 were re-hires while 75 were new hires.