MANILAThe Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has asked the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to exempt from the deployment ban overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who have families in the Federated States of Micronesia.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said the request for exemption was in response to appeals from a number of OFWs in Micronesia who were barred from leaving Manila after the ban was imposed early September.
We are making this request to the POEA on humanitarian grounds and for the sake of family unity, Cayetano said on the sidelines of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
We hope to find a common ground with the POEA so we could balance the need for us to protect our OFWs in Micronesia while, at the same time, ensure that their families remain intact, he added.
Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Concerns Sarah Lou Arriola has been instructed to ask whether it is possible for the POEA to have OFWs separated from their families in Micronesia to be covered under a selective Balik Manggagawa scheme.
The POEA imposed the deployment ban for both newly-hired and returning workers due to reports of abuses and maltreatment of OFWs in Micronesia.
The agency cited as an example the case of the Chuuk State Hospital, which has been blacklisted in 2017 due to reports that its Filipino employees have not been receiving wages.
Estimates place the number of Filipinos working in Micronesia at around 2,000. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency