By Cynthia Balana
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Posted date: April 03, 2009
MANILA, Philippines—Vice President Noli De Castro Thursday said the government will maintain the ban on labor deployment to Nigeria, citing the existence of “real dangers and threats” to the safety of Filipino workers.
De Castro, who is presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), made the announcement after his meeting with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo and Esper Derpo, president of the Filipino Community in Nigeria, in Malacañang on Tuesday.
He, however, clarified that for those land-based Filipino workers who have been working for more than 10 years in Nigeria, particularly in the capital Lagos, a special travel permit may be issued.
De Castro noted that this group of Filipino workers who may be issued with special travel permit is employed in safer areas, not in the Niger Delta where there is high incidence of hijacking.
“This is good news to those OFW professionals in Nigeria who have been wishing to take a vacation back home. Their problem before was that once they go home, they cannot go back to Nigeria because of the ban. Now this has been resolved,” De Castro said.