Philippines lifts labor ban on Qatar-bound workers

Manila had restricted workers from travelling to troubled Gulf state 

Philippines lifts labor ban on Qatar-bound workers

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Philippine government on Thursday lifted a suspension on overseas Filipino laborers travelling to Qatar for work.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the decision to lift the moratorium was arrived at after consultations with the Department of Foreign Affairs and the endorsement of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO).

Thousands of people from the Philippines are employed in the tiny Gulf state.

GMA News reported Bello saying the decision had been reached following an assessment of the situation in Qatar.

On June 5, five Arab countries -- Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Yemen -- abruptly cut diplomatic relations with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism, without presenting any evidence.

Qatar strenuously denies accusations it is a supporter of terrorism, describing moves to isolate it by its fellow Arab countries as "unjustified". The country also denied "false" statements attributed to the country’s emir.

Bello added the Qatari government had guaranteed the safety of the approximately 240,000 Filipinos in the Gulf state.

The Philippine’s labor attache, David Dicang, was also quoted by the news outlet as saying that the situation in Qatar had normalized.

Manila had imposed the temporary deployment ban on Filipino workers to Qatar on June 6. 

Following criticisms the decision had not been carefully thought out, the suspension was partially lifted on June 7 to allow returning workers and those with overseas employment certificates to leave for Qatar.

Despite the lifting of the moratorium, POLO is coordinating with the Qatari authorities to assist Filipino workers, including household service workers of non-Qatari employers, who could be stuck in the country or forced to travel with their employers.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 15 Haziran 2017, 12:42