As it creates confusion among returning and new hire overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) bound to Bahrain, an alliance of Filipino migrants' rights group today urges the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to clarify the Advisory (No.26, Series of 2011) it issued yesterday, June 1.
Issued and signed by POEA administrator Carlos S. Cao Jr., Advisory No.26, Series of 2011 states "Pursuant to travel advisory and report dated 16 May 2011 issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs announcing the forthcoming lifting of the State of National Security in the Kingdom of Bahrain on June 1, 2011, thereby downgrading the security classification of Bahrain from Alert Level 2 to Alert Level 1, the processing and deployment of overseas Filipino workers to Bahrain shall thereupon be allowed for both new hires and returning workers/vacationing workers of balikmanggagawa.."
"Despite the issuance of the aforementioned advisory by the POEA, we have been receiving reports from Bahrain-bound OFWs that today they were told by POEA officials that the ban is still in effect, hence no processing yet of deployment in Bahrain," said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator.
Monterona noted that the said advisory had just been issued 24 hours ago. This coincided the lifting of the declared State of National Safety by the Bahrain government yesterday.
He added there were OFWs who conveyed that they came today to POEA in order to process their deployment formalities as per the advisory issued by the POEA only to be told that the travel ban is still in effect.
Monterona said if the advisory had been withdrawn, the POEA must arrange to issue a clarificatory note for the guidance of our fellow OFWs, returning and new hires.
"Clarification coming from the POEA is needed to avoid confusion and stir disappointment of thousands of OFWs, returning and new hires, who are hoping for work amid grinding poverty in the Philippines," Monterona ended.