KUWAIT CITY – The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Governing Board has approved a resolution imposing a temporary suspension on the processing of newly hired OFWs bound for Ukraine.
This came after the Department of Foreign Affairs has raised the crisis alert level in Ukraine to Alert Level 2 due to the ongoing tensions there, according to former Labor Attache to Kuwait David Des Dicang during a phone interview on Friday.
The POEA Governing Board chaired by Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz along with board members Felix Rodolfo M. Oca, Estrelita S. Hizon, Alexander E. Asuncion, Milagros Isabel Cristobal and Governing Board Vice Chairman and POEA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac have convened and approved Governing Board Resolution No. 3 Series of 2014.
The resolution states that under Alert Level 2, only the processing and deployment of returning OFWs with existing employment contracts shall be allowed while the processing and deployment of newly hired OFWs shall be suspended.
In view of the ongoing tensions in Ukraine, the DFA will be sending an Assistance to Nationals (ATN) team on a mission to Ukraine from March 10 to 21. Baldoz has instructed Dicang to join the ATN mission and help in its work in assessing the security situation and status of around 175 OFWs there.
Based on the POEA database, some 115 OFWs were deployed to Ukraine in 2013 and 57 in 2012. Forty-one of the OFWs deployed were managers and administrative staff while 30 are employed as service workers.
"We are now preparing for the said mission and we will meet with the Filipinos in Kiev and assess their situation to ensure their safety. We will also see if there is a need for their immediate repatriation," disclosed Dicang, who was also part of the joint DFA and DOLE monitoring team in Yemen in December last year.