After reports of unfair labor practices in overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) working in Micronesia, the Philippine government decided to issue a deployment ban to the area, effective September 4, 2018.
According to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), there are around 2,000 Filipinos working in Micronesia but the deployment ban immediately caused nearly 300 OFWs to lose their jobs.
“The POEA Governing Board resolves to impose a total ban on the processing and deployment of workers to the Federated States of Micronesia,” the POEA announced, defending resolution No. 05-2018.
Based on this resolution, no Filipino will be deployed to the island nation, regardless if they are newly hired or are returning to their previous posts. This means that those who went back to the Philippines for a vacation found themselves jobless after the deployment ban took effect.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) backs the POEA on this issue, saying that the deployment ban was imposed due to the many reports Philippine government agencies received regarding the work conditions of many OFWs in Micronesia.
“The Government of the Federated States of Micronesia has made no effort in improving the working conditions and guaranteeing the timely payment of salaries and benefits of workers,” states a report from the Philippine Consulate in Agana, Guam, dated June 19, reports the Manila Standard.
The deployment ban will remain in effect until Micronesia “settles the unresolved cases and improves the working conditions of OFWs.”
It is expected that the island nation will move to correct these unfair labor practices to ensure that the deployment ban will be lifted soon; such as what happened between Kuwait and the Philippines when President Rodrigo Duterte also issued a deployment ban over a diplomatic row regarding OFWs.
For deployment to be allowed again, the DFA needs to issue a certification to the POEA regarding convention/declaration/resolution or the bilateral agreement/arrangement that shall protect the rights of OFWs.