MANILA (2nd UPDATE)- The Philippines' temporary suspension on the deployment of overseas Filipino workers to Oman has ended after both countries discussed the mutual lifting of the travel and deployment ban.
According to Philippine Overseas Employment Administration head Bernard Olalia, the Arab state has agreed to lift the travel ban on the Philippines during a meeting between Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Oman Ambassador Munther Mahfoodh Salem Al-Mantheri.
"Oman government clarified it was not their intention na harangin pagpasok or entry ng mga OFWs at Filipino travelers sa Oman," Olalia said Tuesday.
Bello earlier said that when the ban is lifted, the Philippines will also lift its temporary suspension on OFW deployment to Oman.
“So, nagkaroon kami ng kasulatan. Nagpirmahan na kami kahapon. Ang pangako ni Ambassador Al-Mantheri, kakausapin niya ang gobyerno nila na i-lift na yung ban. Siguro pag ni-lift niya yung ban, i-lift ko na yung suspension,” he said.
(We had an agreement. We signed it already yesterday. Ambassador Al-Mantheri promised to talk to his government to lift the ban. Maybe when the ban is lifted, we will also lift the suspension.)
Last week, the Philippines has imposed a temporary suspension on the deployment of OFWs to Oman after the latter included Filipinos and travelers from the Philippines in its travel ban.
Some 1,000 Filipino migrant workers stand to benefit from the lifting of the deployment ban, Olalia told ANC's Headstart on Wednesday.
Nearly 5,000 OFWs had been allowed to travel to Oman from January to June this year, while 25,000 Filipino migrant workers travel to the Middle East nation, Olalia said.
Oman is home to almost 200,000 Filipinos, according to Bello. The number does not include undocumented Filipinos, he said.