Tuesday, September 20, 2011
MANILA, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 20, 2011) – Migrants’ advocacy group called Migrante-Middle East has warned Manila to go slow on proposals to lift the ban on overseas Filipino workers to Iraq.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it could recommend the lifting of the ban and allow OFW to return to Iraq.
Raul Hernandez, DFA spokesman, that a delegation headed by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Rafael Seguis is also in Iraq to meet with senior government officials there and assess the possibility of reopening the Philippine embassy in Baghdad.
Migrante said it is too early to lift the ban in Iraq because of the volatile situation in the country. “Basing on the reports we have been receiving on the ground from our fellow OFWs and nongovernment organizations, the peace and order situation in Iraq is still unstable as sporadic bombings and infightings are occurring,” said John Leonard Monterona, the group’s regional coordinator.
He said intense fighting still continue between US-backed Iraqi forces and insurgents in many areas in the country.
“With such volatile peace and order situation in Iraq and when most of US military forces leaving in Iraq by December, we could almost foresee an escalation of the internal conflict in Iraq, thus lifting the ban on OFWs is not wise under such circumstances,” Monterona said. (Mindanao Examiner)