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POEA lifts ban on Pinoy seafarers to Middle East

POEA lifts ban on Pinoy seafarers to Middle East
Sheila Crisostomo - February 9, 2020 -

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino seafarers may now go to the Middle Eastern states following the partial lifting of the total deployment ban to Kuwait, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) announced yesterday.

The POEA said there is no more prohibition on sea-based overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from going to Kuwait.

“Filipino seafarers are categorized as highly skilled and professional, hence, the inclusion of the seafarers from the total deployment ban in Kuwait is hereby lifted,” a POEA memorandum said.

The seafarers will be allowed to join, to be repatriated or to disembark and allowed to undergo shore leave in the said country, it added.

On Thursday, Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III announced that the POEA governing board has decided to partially lift the deployment ban to Kuwait.

This means that only newly-hired and returning domestic workers or household service workers remain banned for deployment in Kuwait.

The POEA decided to allow seafarers because they are not in the same category as the domestic helpers.

It said the seafarers are not vulnerable to the abuses of Kuwait employers and they are not permanently employed there.

“Deployment of crew replacements, repatriation and shore leave only requires temporary stay on land, before and after joining the vessels,” the POEA said.

Last month, the agency imposed a total deployment ban for all types of Filipino migrant workers due to the death of domestic worker Jeanelyn Villavende at the hands of her Kuwaiti employers.