OFWs call for lifting of OFW deployment ban in Bahrain

Published by rudy Date posted on April 29, 2011

MANILA, Philippines – A group of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) yesterday demanded the full lifting of the government’s deployment ban in Bahrain to enable more Filipinos to work there.

John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator, said other countries have already lowered the alert level previously issued on Bahrain, so the Philippine government must do the same and allow new hires to leave.

“The lifting of the travel ban by the Nepalese and Sri Lankan governments has been made on the basis of the recent peace and order situation assessment in Bahrain, which is relatively peaceful now and does not anymore pose great risk to their nationals… as compared to last month,” Monterona said.

He said the government should send a team to reassess the situation and eventually lift the partial deployment ban in Bahrain.

“If other migrant-sending governments have already lifted their self-imposed travel ban on its working nationals in Bahrain, then it would be prudent on the part of the Philippine government to reassess the current alert level 2, downgrade it, and thereby allow our OFWs, returning and new hire, to travel to Bahrain,” Monterona explained.

The government previously banned the sending of workers to Bahrain due to escalating tensions there, but eventually lowered the alert level and allowed workers to return.

According to the OFWs, a lot of Filipinos are now suffering from underemployment and unemployment and the government could address the problem by lifting the partial deployment ban in Bahrain.

An OFW currently working in Bahrain said the situation there is already back to normal.

Monterona said the government should see and understand the dire economic standing of the returning and newly hired OFWs bound for Bahrain who need a job to earn a living for their struggling families in the Philippines.

The government has already reported a decline in deployment of Filipino workers abroad as a result of the political turmoil in several countries in the Middle East.–Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star)

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