DFA recommends partial lifting of deployment ban to Iraq
Despite the volatile security situation in Iraq, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has recommended the partial lifting of the deployment ban to that country because some areas are safe for Filipino workers.
DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez on Tuesday said the agency has proposed to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) that the ban be lifted for the Kurdistan region, an autonomous region of Iraq.
The DFA has yet to receive a response from the POEA.
“Kurdistan region is relatively safe and therefore because of the demands of jobs in the area, (we will) allow our workers to work and stay in that region,” Hernandez said during a press briefing.
The Philippines continues to observe a deployment ban to Iraq as tensions resumed after the withdrawal of American troops in December last year.
Around 4,000 Filipinos worked in Iraq when the US still kept bases there. When the Americans left, some Filipinos stayed behind to work for foreign contractors.
In February this year, the DFA raised alert level 3 over Iraq, offering to shoulder the cost of evacuating Filipinos who wish to return to the Philippines.
The alert level covers all regions of Iraq except Kurdistan, located near the country’s border with Turkey. - VVP, GMA News