POEA enforces total deployment ban to Egypt
MANILA – A total deployment ban to Egypt has been imposed by the governing board of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) citing security risks for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
"The POEA Governing Board, in an emergency meeting, has approved yesterday Governing Board Resolution No. 9 Series of 2013 imposing a total ban on the processing and deployment of all overseas Filipino workers bound for Egypt," Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said.
Felix Oca, Estrelita Hizon, Alexander Asuncion, and Milagros Isabel Cristobal all signed the resolution, together with POEA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac, Governing Board Vice Chairman.
"It is not safe for OFWs to go to Egypt and work there, considering the present circumstances," Baldoz added.
Reuters reported that at least 623 people died and thousands were wounded on Wednesday when police cleared out two protest camps in Cairo set up to denounce the military overthrow on July 3 of Egypt's first freely elected president, the Islamist leader Mohamed Mursi.
Baldoz said the Department of Foreign Affairs had informed her that it has raised the crisis Alert Level 3 in Egypt in view of the escalating civil unrest and insecurity, as well as the declaration of a month-long state of emergency in the country.
Alert level 3 entails the voluntary repatriation of Filipinos in Egypt. The deployment of new workers, as well as the return to Egypt of vacationing workers, spouses of Egyptian nationals, Islamic University students, and their dependents, is likewise suspended.
It can be recalled that the DFA raised the crisis alert level in Egypt to Alert Level 2 on July 8, 2012. Four days later or on 12 July, the Governing Board, in Resolution No. 6 Series of 2013, imposed a temporary suspension on the processing and deployment of newly-hired OFWs bound for Egypt.