Sunday, August 23, 2009

Deployment Ban of OFWs in Lebanon Stays

Filipinos who want to work abroad should exclude Lebanon as one of their possible countries of destination as the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reminds the public that the total deployment ban of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the said country is still in effect.

The Philippine Ambassador to Lebanon, Gilbert Asuque, explained the reason why the ban was not lifted. This is because the memorandum of agreement (MOU) regarding the deployment of OFWs to Lebanon has not been signed. This MOA aims to protect the welfare of OFWs in the Middle Eastern country; it includes the right of OFWs to be paid just wages, overtime pay and access to good working conditions.

According to Asuque, the MOA is a condition for the lifting of the deployment ban.
A meeting between labor officials of Lebanon and the Philippines was fist held in Beirut last May 27-29. During the said meeting, the DFA said that the Ministry of Labor in Lebanon informed the Philippine delegation about the creation of an arbitration and conciliation committee that will handle complaints of foreign workers against their employers.

In response, the DFA sent an invitation to the government of Lebanon for a second meeting so they can further discuss the proposed MOA. The said meeting is set to happen this July and Lebanon is expected to submit its counter proposal. Negotiations regarding the set of rules in hiring household service workers would also be included in the discussion.

Asuque said, “The Embassy will negotiate the revised draft MOA with the Lebanese side for the purpose of bringing an agreed text to the second technical meeting to be held in Manila at an agreed date.”

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