DFA warns job-seeking public vs work offers in Iraq

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 10 2019 06:01 PM

MANILA - The Philippine Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq warned Filipinos seeking jobs to be wary of job offers online in the Middle Eastern nation, saying the deployment ban to Iraq is still in effect despite contrary reports.

The Philippine embassy said there were online ads about newly-opened job vacancies in Iraq.

"In some cases, these online announcements claim that the existing ban on deployment to Iraq has been lifted. On the contrary, Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) Governing Board Resolution No. 6, s. 2018, which suspends the deployment of newly hired workers bound for Iraq and the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, remains in effect," the embassy said in a statement Tuesday.

"Furthermore, household workers who are already based in Iraq are also banned from returning to Iraq should they go on vacation to the Philippines," they added.

In the said resolution dated August 17, 2018, the POEA banned OFWs to work in Iraq due to its status Alert Level-4, which necessitates mandatory repatriation or evacuation for Filipino workers due to the crisis in the country.

Iraq imposes hefty penalties for persons without the proper visas or with expired visas, the embassy said.

Filipinos who are temporarily in Iraq or are residing and working before the deployment ban are advised to take note of their visa validity dates.

Filipinos who receive or encounter job offers abroad are also warned to be careful of the early warning signs of human trafficking, namely: applicants travel using a tourist visa or visit visa with recruiters promising to issue a worker’s visa upon arrival in Iraq; applicants do not possess their own identification documents such as IDs or passports; passports are confiscated; applicants are advised to inform authorities that they are just visiting a particular city, like Dubai, Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok; applicants are advised of particular immigration lanes to choose or given nonverbal cues to lookout for during departure from Clark Airport or the Ninoy Aquino International Airport; agency has no permanent address; and agents do not reveal their full names and contact details.

"The public is also advised to comply with pre-departure formalities being implemented by Philippine immigration authorities," the embassy said.