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MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has added 32 more countries to its list of countries that are friendly to overseas Filipino workers, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said.
Baldoz, who heads the POEA Governing Board, said POEA resolution GBR No. 8, Series of 2012 lists the following countries as “compliant with the guarantees on the protection of the rights of foreign workers provided under Section 2 of Republic Act 10022:
Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Botswana, China, Dominican Republic, East Timor/Timor Leste, Iran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyz Republic/Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Maldives, Micronesia, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Serbia, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Syria, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and Zambia.
The 32 countries bring to 184 the total number of countries already certified by the DFA out of 203 countries. Only 19 countries now remain to be non-certified.
The 19 are Afghanistan, Chad, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea/North Korea, Eritrea, Haiti, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Nepal, Niger, Palestine, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe, Monaco, and Vatican.
Baldoz said that of these 19 countries, the Board has yet to receive the certifications for the Vatican and Monaco, while the certifications for Libya and Iraq are currently being reviewed in the light of latest developments that may lead to the amendment of their respective certifications.
"The POEA Governing Board notes that the DFA has yet to complete the review of its previous certifications issued for Iraq and Libya," Baldoz explained.
The resolution was signed by Baldoz, POEA Administrator and POEA board vice chairman Hans Leo J. Cacdac, and POEA board member Leonardo B. de Ocampo.
Baldoz said the 32 countries have been certified by the Department of Foreign Affairs on May 24, 2012 following the recommendation made by the Congressional Committee on Overseas Welfare Affairs chaired by Congressman Walden Bello, to consider those countries certified as partially-compliant "to be compliant without prejudice to negotiations for the protection of household service workers."
Under this qualification, the POEA may continue to deploy OFWs to these countries and the DFA will continue to negotiate for the better protection of household service workers even beyond 12 April 2012," said Baldoz.