DOLE: Iraqi Kurdistan region safe for Pinoy workers
Philippine Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR) was a safe and a stable place for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
In a statement issued on Monday, Baldoz said Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported that the peace and order situation in IKR was generally stable and immune from the violence that has affected Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
Baldoz recalled that IKR was excluded in the total deployment ban of OFWs to Iraq under Governing Board Resolution No. 03 Series of 2012 of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration’s (POEA).
“Kurdistan is now recognized internationally because of the relative safety that led to its economic growth, which in turn, gives greater incentive for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to maintain the satisfactory level of peace and security of the region,” Baldoz said.
The Iraqi Kurdistan Region is administered by the Kurdistan Regional Government with the Kurdistan National Assembly as its legislative arm and the Peshmerga as in-charge of judiciary and army. It is composed of three governorates of Dohuk, Erbil, and Sulaymaniyah.
According to a report of the Philippine Embassy in Baghdad, there are 452 OFWs in Iraq, including:
178 OFWs in the Kurdistan region,
154 OFWs in Erbil, and
19 OFWs in Suleymaniyah.
The OFWs are mostly employed in the oil and petroleum, telecoms and hotel industries.
"The presence of multinational companies, a growing expatriate community, and the existence of a vibrant international tourism industry also attest to its congeniality," Baldoz said. - VVP, GMA News