Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III on Thursday lifted the moratorium on the deployment of Filipino workers to Qatar upon consultation with the Department of Foreign Affairs and upon recommendation of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office.
“This decision was arrived at on the advise of Foreign Affairs Secretary Allan Peter Cayetano and upon the recommendation of Qatar POLO following their assessment of the situation in the Gulf state,” Bello said.
Saying the situation has normalized, Labor Attaché David Des Dicang and the Philippine Embassy even requested the deployment of newly-hired workers to Qatar, particularly to the Philippine School Doha (PSD) and Philippine International School-Qatar (PISQ).
“We respectfully request to allow the deployment so as not to hamper the operations of our Philippine schools and to allay fears of the revocation of their school permits issued by the Qatar government,” Dicang said.
A total of 28 new teachers and 20 bus drivers of PSD and 51 new teachers of PISQ have pending applications with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
The Philippine Embassy and POLO also recommended the deployment of an Assessment Team composed of DOLE, POEA, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs of DFA to Qatar to meet with the government authorities and companies providing employment to Filipino workers.
POLO is also continuously coordinating with the Qatari authorities to discuss possible difficulties regarding the repatriation of distressed OFWs temporarily accommodated at the Migrant Workers and other Overseas Filipinos Resource Center (MWOFRC), and are looking into the possible situation of Household Service Worker (HSWs) of non-Qatari employers, who will be left in the country or will be forced to travel with their employers.
Also, the Qatari government guaranteed the safety of around 240,000 Filipinos in Qatar and affirmed that they have the ability to withstand any possible economic shocks out of the diplomatic impasse with its neighboring Arab countries.
Meanwhile, OFWs in Qatar have expressed confidence for their safety with the strengthened efforts of the labor department and other concerned government agencies in ensuring their basic welfare and security amid the diplomatic crisis.
Bello ordered the temporary suspension in the deployment of OFWs to Qatar last week to secure the welfare and security of OFWs in case of any eventuality after some neighboring Arab states cut diplomatic ties with the Gulf state.