DOLE still waiting for DFA assessment on Iraq ban

October 14, 2008

Philippine Barangay Society-Nigeria (PBSN)

Philippine Barangay Society-Nigeria (PBSN)

To all Filipinos in Nigeria. This news calls for another aggressive information campaign to our government officials to remove the travel and work ban in Nigeria. While we have nothing against the lifting of ban to Iraq, we find it unfair that the DFA remains deaf and dumb to our pleas to remove the ban.

Is Iraw far safer than Nigeria these days? What would the DFA do when another Filipino is killed or kidnapped in Iraq? Ban again? Like what they did to Nigeria?

When foreign countries issues travel warning against the Philippines on account of kidnapping or war in the South, the government gets a convulsions and insists the trouble is ‘only’ in the South.

What about Nigeria? Just because of a restive state in Nigeria, the Philippines is fit to consider entire Nigeria as unsafe? That is why it is not removing the ban?

This is really madness.

Let us write our Congressmen and OFW-friendly senators to help us get this ban lifted soonest.

Di na tayo makaka asa kay Ka Noli, masyadong busy para sa 2010.

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DOLE still waiting for DFA assessment on Iraq ban
KIMBERLY JANE TAN, GMANews.TV
10/10/2008 | 05:26 PM
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Friday said it was still waiting for the assessment of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on whether the deployment ban on Iraq can be lifted or not.

Labor Secretary Marianito Roque said reports from the Middle East Preparedness Team indicated that the incidence of violence in Iraq has already dwindled but it was relying on the DFA’s recommendation.

“The DOLE position is subject to the security assessment by the DFA on the peace and order condition in Iraq,” Roque told GMANews.TV through a text message.

“While there maybe emerging employment opportunities there, the welfare of our nationals remains primal,” he said.

Recruitment agencies earlier called for a relaxation of the deployment ban to legally open up the job market in the war-torn country once more.

The Philippine government stopped sending workers to Iraq after Filipino accountant Robert Tarongoy was abducted in 2004.

The government said the abduction confirmed its apprehension of sending workers to the conflict-stricken country since the hostage-taking of truck driver Angelo dela Cruz that same year.

Word has it that the government spent millions of dollars for the freedom of the two hostages.

Roque admitted that despite the deployment ban, Filipino workers continued to enter Iraq illegally to take advantage of the high pay offered by mostly American companies with contracts in the Mideastern country.

He said reports reaching his office say the number of OFWs who are currently in Iraq has jumped to 15,000.

Labor officials have also maintained the deployment bans on Lebanon and Jordan despite similar calls for these to be lifted.

The Lebanon ban was kept due to ongoing peace and order problems while that on Jordan was kept because employers refused to comply with new conditions set for hiring OFWs.

Administrator Jennifer Manalili of the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) has said the DFA recommended that these bans be maintained due to the “still volatile situation” in the two countries. – GMANews.TV

http://www.gmanews.tv/story/126314/DOLE-still-waiting-for-DFA-assessment-on-Iraq-ban


Crisis stretching OFW ability to send money

September 2, 2008

By Jeremaiah M. Opiniano
INQUIRER.net

Posted date: September 01, 2008

MANILA–A US-generated financial crisis is testing overseas Filipino workers’ ability to send cash home, an economist said, using government data on remittances.

“If OFWs persist in sending more money, it will not be physically sustainable for them,” Alvin Ang told the OFW Journalism Consortium before monetary authorities reported on August 15 that OFWs sent home a record $1.5 billion in June.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas linked the 30-percent year-on-year remittance growth rate to an increase in the number of Filipinos who left for work abroad from January to June this year. Government recorded over 600,000 Filipino workers who left the country using official channels in the first six months of the year.

While acknowledging the increasing rate of remittance from these Filipinos, Ang warns that remittance flows especially from the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are entering a “plateau.” Using year-on-year totals of cash remittances formally sent over a six-month period ending May, Ang defined that plateau as a growth rate of remittances at three percent and below.

As an example, he cited remittances from OFWs in the US growing less than one percent (0.66) to $2.462 billion in the first six months ending May as against the same six-month period, $2.446 billion, in 2007.

He also noted the 1.12 percent growth rate of OFW remittances from Saudi Arabia in the five-month period ending May this year, totaling $528.013 million, compared to $522.156 million in the first five months of 2007.

These remittances from major host countries still grew, Ang said, but they were “not significant increases.”

Borderline

Even the total monthly remittances are either touching plateau levels or experiencing negative growth rates, Ang said.

The country received $1.396 billion in December 2007 but the January remittance declined by 9.52 percent to $1.264 billion and $1.258 billion in February 2008.

Declining rates may be due to several factors, among them US inflation and higher oil and commodities prices, said Ang, but their effects on remittances are not immediate, “Give it one to one-and-a-half years before we really feel the full effect.”

He also noted that OFW remittances from countries other than the US and Saudi Arabia have been contributing more to growth rates and helping arrest the decline in cash flow.

OFWs in Singapore, for example, sent home $0.175 billion during the first five months, or an 81.98-percent growth from $95.985 million in the same period last year.

Filipinos in Canada sent $0.46 billion during the first six months, achieving a year-on-year 70.65-percent growth rate.

Filipinos in Europe also saw their year-on-year five-month remittance volumes grow – like Italy at 22.11 percent, Germany at 27.22 percent, and the United Kingdom at 19.01 percent.

Returns

Ang’s prognosis on the Philippines’s plateau-level remittance growth rates recalls a basic economic concept: the law of diminishing returns. There will come a time when remittances from OFWs, whether it’s the overall total or the per-continent or per-country totals, “will go down somewhere,” he said.

Given the weakening dollar, World Bank economists Dilip Ratha and Sanket Mohapatra have also observed in Remittances Dispatch that rising inflation rate and oil and commodities prices have “further (eroded) the purchasing power of remittances” to Mexico, India and the Philippines.

In particular, they noted that while Philippine remittances increased by nearly 50 percent between 2004 and 2007, “[a] large part of this increase has been simply to preserve the purchasing power of recipients since the Philippine peso appreciated by 33 percent against the US dollar.”

OFW remittance to the Philippines hit roughly $14.5 billion last year. It was at $8.5 billion in 2004.
But after accounting for the peso’s appreciation and domestic inflation, Philippine remittances increased by only three percent in the three years beginning 2004, write Ratha and Mohaptra.

In comparison, India’s and Mexico’s remittance growth rates after accounting for inflation were 13 and 19 percent, respectively.

While the effects of the world price adjustments are yet to sink in, Ang expects Filipinos in many countries to be sending home lower amounts of money.

OFW Journalism Consortium

http://globalnation.inquirer.net/news/news/view/20080901-158065/Crisis-stretching-OFW-ability-to-send-money


Recruiters accuse NGOs of not doing role in pre-employment of OFWs

August 10, 2008

My hair stands after reading this statement of Mr. Gan, president of the employment agencies federation.

Kailan pa kaya naging trabaho ng mga NGO ang pre-employment concern??

Hindi naman mga NGO ang nagpapadala ng OFW. Kung mag hugas-kamay lang din si Mr Gan sa kanilang obligasyon, dapat ipasara ng POEA ang employment agency ni Mr. Gan.

If Mr. Gan’s statement is the the statement of all employment agencies, this, is a very serious concern to all would be OFWs and OFWs.

What is the purpose of these employment agencies if they cannot provide proper pre-employment support to their contract workers?? As if milking the hapless OFW (mula Pilipinas hanggang sa overseas station nya) is not enough, employment agencies have the ‘pachyderm face’ to pass the pre-employment responsibility to NGOs. Na Wow.

Hindi lang pala gobyerno ang nang huhugas-kamay sa kanilang responsibilidad, kundi pati na rin mga employment agencies, na sya dapat unang mangalaga sa kanilang mga ipinapadala sa abroad.

Really, POEA and DOLE should remove the license of Mr. Gan’s employment agencies for so being anti-labor, anti-OFW.

This statement should be investigated by the Senate. This is serious. Very serious.

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Recruiters accuse NGOs of not doing role in pre-employment of OFWs
08/09/2008 | 04:26 PM
http://www.gmanews.tv/story/112604/Recruiters-accuse-NGOs-of-not-doing-role-in-pre-employment-of-OFWs

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MANILA, Philippines – An association of recruitment agencies in the Philippines accused non-government organizations (NGO), specifically migrant groups, of not doing their part for Filipino workers being deployed abroad.

According to Jackson Gan, spokesman of the Federated Association of Manpower Exporters, recruitment agencies have been taking care of OFWs’ pre-deployment issues, but migrant groups have been remiss in their duties on the workers’ pre-employment concerns.

“Hindi ninyo ginagawa trabaho ninyo (You’re not doing your job),” said Gan to the representatives of migrant rights advocacy groups Kanlungan Centre Foundation and the Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA) last Wednesday during a technical working group meeting called by the House Committee on Workers’ Affairs.

“Lagi na lang kayong naghahanap ng problema o butas (You’re always looking for problems or loopholes),” Gan further told the migrant groups during the meeting.

But the migrant groups dismissed Gan’s claims, saying it was not their responsibility to handle pre-employment concerns of OFWs.

CMA Advocacy Officer Rhodora Abaño said her group did not have a program to handle the pre-employment concerns of OFWs and that CMA didn’t have to do such duty.

“We’re in advocacy so we only do information work,” Abaño told GMANews.TV in an interview on Thursday.

For its part, Kanlungan, through its lawyer Donnaliza Nicolas, said in an interview with GMANews.TV on Friday that she found Gan’s statements “funny.”

Nicolas said Kanlungan was not mandated by the government or anyone to address the said pre-employment concerns. “Our responsibility is to the migrant workers.” – Kimberly Jane T. Tan, GMANews.TV

———-

Reaction from Migrante/CMU:

I BEG TO DISAGREE THE ACCUSATIONS OF MR. JACKSON GAN. MIGRANTE IS ONE OF THE ORGANIZATIONS WHO VOLUNTARILY HELP OFWS WHO ARE IN NEED OF HELP, AND IT IS PROVEN IN MANY CASES, NO NEED TO MENTION

(PUBLICATIONS IN MAJOR NEWSPAPERS ATTESTED MIGRANTE’S ACTIONS IN HELPING OFW WORLDWIDE )

INSTEAD OF POINTING THE BLAMES TO NGOs, HE SHOULD LOOK FIRST THEIR UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOUR TO WOULD BE OFW ( THE POOR APPLICANTS HAVE TO PRODUCE ALL THE MONEY THAT RECRUITMENT AGENCIES WANTED ) i.e.

1.0 THE POEA APPROVED PAYMENTS TO ANY RECRUIMENT AGENCIES AS PROCESSING FEES IN EXCHANGE OF JOBS ABROAD IS ONE MONTH SALARY EQUIVALENT, HOWEVER, I PITY THOSE WOULD BE OFW WHO ARE HUNGRY OF JOBS OVERSEAS IN ORDER TO UPLIFT THEIR LIVES, WHEREAS, MAJORITY OF THE RECRUITMENT AGENCIES ARE CHARGING THREE TO FOUR FOLDS EQUIVALENT TO THEIR INTENDED MONTHLY SALARIES ( IMAGINE A POOR ORDINARY CARPENTER WHOSE CONTRACT IS USD 200 MONTHLY, THE SHARK AGENCY CHARGED STARTING P 30,000 PESOS, NOT TO MENTION OTHER CHARGES LIKE MEDICAL, TRADE TESTS, ETC. WHEREIN, THE AGENCY COLLECTS THEIR SHARE/COMMISSION FROM THESE ESTABLISHMENTS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE POOR WOULD BE OFW )

2.0 THE RECRUITMENT AGENCIES WHO CONDUCTS ‘PDOS’ ( PRE DEPARTURE ORIENTATION SEMINAR ) IS MISLEADING THE WOULD BE OFW BY NOT TELLING THE TRUTH, WHAT IS REALLY THE LIFE OF AN OFW IN ABROAD, THEY ONLY TALK ABOUT THE SALARIES THEY WILL GET ARE IN DOLLARS/BUCKS WHICH IS VERY ENCOURAGING TO WOULD BE OFW ( THESE RECRUITMENT AGENCIES ARE LIARS, THEIR ONLY ULTIMATE INTERESTS ARE THE FEES THEY HAVE TO COLLECT FROM THE POOR WOULD BE OFW )

3.0 TO MENTION A FEW OF THE PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED THAT RECRUITMENT AGENCIES HIDE DURING ‘PDOS’
– CHANGE OF CONTRACT UPON ARRIVAL TO EMPLOYER ( THE CONTRACT SIGNED BY BOTH PARTIES THAT SUBMITTED TO POEA WILL BE DISREGARDED – NO CHANCE TO WITHDRAW SINCE THE POOR OFW IS THINKING THE MONEY PAID TO THE SHARK AGENCY )
– THE ACCOMMODATION STATUS – THERE ARE EMPLOYERS WHO PROVIDE THEIR WORKERS NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE NORMAL LIVING CONDITIONS
– WEATHER CONDITIONS IN THE MIDDLE EAST (EXTREME HOT WEATHER CONDITION – you will feel the real hot weather when you are experiencing losing your consciousness AT 50 TO 54 DEG C )
– WAKE UP EARLY IN THE MORNING AT FOUR O’CLOCK TO PREPARE YOURSELF FOR THE DAY’S WORK
– HAVING LUNCH AT JOBSITE WITH SANDS DURING SANDSTORM
– OWWA PERSONNEL ARE INUTILE WHEN PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED ( INSTEAD OF ASKING HELP TO OWWA, BETTER CONTACT A MIGRANTE MEMBER )

– MONTHLY SALARIES NOT RECEIVED ON TIME ( SOME EMPLOYERS DELAYS SALARIES )

– WORKING 10 HOURS PER DAY BY FORCE WITH NO OVERTIME PAY , INSTEAD OF 8 HOURS CONTRACT AGREED BY BOTH PARTIES SUBMITTED TO POEA

4.0 FROM ITEM 3.0 WHAT ASSISTANCE DO MR. JACKSON GAN CAN PROVIDE IN EXCHANGE OF THE RECRUITMENT FEES COLLECTED FROM THE POOR OFW

BASIS OF THE ABOVE, IT IS A NORMAL BUSINESS PRACTICE THAT THE RECRUITMENT AGENCY TO ASSIST OFW IN TIME OF DISTRESS, SINCE THEY COLLECTED THE FEES THEY WANTED , HOWEVER, IT IS MIGRANTE WHO IS AN ACTIVE ORGANIZATION READY IN EXTENDING ASSISTANCE TO OFW.

SHOULD ATE GLO CARES THE OFW, CONGRESS SHOULD CREATE A LAW CRIMINALIZING SHARK RECRUITMENT AGENCIES THAT DO NOT FOLLOW POEA POLICIES ON THE APPROVED ONE MONTH SALARY EQUIVALENT.

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DoLE partially lifts ban on deployment of HSWs to Jordan

August 5, 2008

Bakit kaya na i ignore tayong mga OFW dito sa Nigeria?

Kita nyo naman, tanggal na ban sa Jordan. Sunod nyan sa Lebanon.

Kahit marami pa na DH/HSW ang namatay at inabuso sa mga bansang arabo, pero gustong-gusto pa rin ng gobyerno magpadala ng mga ka awa-awang mga DH doon.

Eh bakit sa Nigeria patuloy ang travel at employment ban??

Bakit?

Kasi po, ‘love’ tayo ni Ate Glo. Ayaw nyang mapapahamak tayo kahit na malayo tayo sa kapahamakan. (Oh di ba kapahamakan lang dadanasin mo kung nanatili ka sa pinas, kaya swerte tayo andito sa Nigeria, malayo
sa magulo at hirap-buhay na bansang pinas).

Yung mga DH at HSW, hindi ‘love’ ni Ate Glo. Kaya ayan, lift na ang ban sa Jordan at Middle East countries — graveyard ng mga kawawang kababayan natin.

Ilan nga bang DH/HSW ang na abuso at namatay sa mga ME countries na ito, kumpara sa Nigeria?
========

DoLE partially lifts ban on deployment of HSWs to Jordan

By Veronica Uy
INQUIRER.net

Posted date: July 31, 2008

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment has
partially lifted its ban on the deployment of household service
workers (HSWs) to Jordan, exempting those returning to work with the
same employer from the ban.

In Department Order No. 93-08, Series of 2008, Labor Secretary
Marianito Roque granted the partial exemption, “provided that the
salary of the returning HSWs shall in no way be lower than the
prescribed monthly pay for Filipino household service workers of
$400.”

In an earlier DO No. 88-08, Series of 2008, DoLE suspended the
deployment of Filipino HSWs to Jordan effective Jan. 21, 2008
following reports of abuse, as the number of distressed workers being
housed in the Filipino Workers Resource Center in Jordan increased.

With the new department order, Roque directed both the Philippine
Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Philippine Overseas
Labor Office (POLO) in Jordan to resume processing the employment
documents of qualified returning HSWs.

He also instructed the two government agencies to disseminate the
information and to monitor the terms and conditions of employment of
the HSWs returning to the same employers in Jordan.

The DoLE set the monthly pay of HSWs to $400 to ensure that only
legitimate and capable employers can avail of the services of
Filipino HSWs and eventually eliminate abuse and exploitation against
them.

http://globalnation.inquirer.net/news/breakingnews/view_article.php?
article_id=151837


OFW groups express opposition to Pichay appointment to OWWA

July 23, 2008

Arroyo offered post aside from SBMA, ex-solon says
By Veronica Uy, Maila Ager
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 19:01:00 07/21/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Overseas Filipino worker groups have expressed opposition to the possible appointment of a former congressman and losing administration senatorial candidate to the top post of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.

The Center for Migrant Advocacy and the Philippine Migrant Rights Watch said they wanted someone from the ranks of OFWs to handle OWWA and its billions of dollars in OWWA membership fees which they feared might be used for the 2010 elections.

Reports are rife that former Surigao congressman Prospero “Butch” Pichay, who ran for senator under the administration ticket, could take over the helm of the OWWA.

Pichay confirmed to INQUIRER.net that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had offered him the top OWWA post and the chairmanship of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and that there were also other offers of Cabinet positions.

He refused to elaborate however on the Cabinet offers “in deference to sitting officials.”

“OWWA at Subic. Iyan ang talagang inoffer ng President — a few months ago pa [OWWA and Subic. That is what the President really offered — a few months ago],” said Pichay who was in Vietnam.

Pichay said that he was considering the OWWA post.

“Maraming offer [There are a lot of offers] but I’m still trying to think about all these offers. In a few weeks, makaka-decide na ako [I can decide]. Inaasikaso ko pa ang negosyo [I am just attending to my business].”

OFW groups which spearheaded the drive to pass the Overseas Absentee Voting Law several years ago have launched a campaign to put Mike Bolos, an accountant who has worked for more than 20 years in Saudi Arabia to head OWWA.

Heeding the government’s call for overseas Filipinos to return to the country and contribute to its development, Bolos has since returned to the Philippines to start several business enterprises.

Rashid Fabricante, of the Pinoy-abroad-forum and elagda-Riyadh, started the e-mail thread with the suggestion that OFW groups and migrant rights organizations should lobby for OFW representation at OWWA.

OWWA, which is tasked to promote and protect the well-being of OFWs, was previously headed by Marianito Roque until he was appointed secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment when his predecessor Arturo Brion became associate justice of the Supreme Court.

The attached agency of DoLE does not get any budgetary allocation from the government. It lives solely off the $25- membership fee of every departing OFW.

While the membership fee is supposed to be paid by the leaving OFW’s employer, the OFW in most cases pay for the amount.

OFW groups have sought more representation in OWWA and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, the other DoLE-attached agency concerned with OFWs.

There are an estimated eight million Filipinos who live and work overseas while some 3,000 leave the country every day.


For undocumented OFWs in Nigeria

June 8, 2008

I wrote an email inquiry to POEA if there is possibility of OFWS in Nigeria who came in using tourist or business visas to be registered in POLO offices in the Embassy.

This is the reply:
————

This has reference to your e-mail dated 13 May 2008 regarding undocumented workers in countries where there is a prevailing ban such as Nigeria and Afghanistan .

Please be advised that there is a Memorandum issued by the Secretary of Labor and Employment wherein there shall be a total ban in the deployment of all workers to the following destination countries:

Iraq
Afghanistan
Nigeria
Lebanon

However, our welfare assistance to workers already in those countries (except for Iraq where there is no significant GRP presence) will continue, or may even be supplemented, as demands of OFW protection may require.

Under these circumstances, there is no way that we can legitimize their status as undocumented since deployment to this country is prohibited.

In short, even these workers will take vacation back to the Philippines , their travel papers will not be processed or allowed by POEA because of the ban.

For your perusal and guidance.

Very truly yours,

ATTY. JONE B. FUNG

Director II

Legal Research, Docket and Enforcement Branch
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Why the government should lift the ban on Nigeria

May 16, 2008

This is in reference to the continued ban for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) to Nigeria.

Late in 2006, the Philippine government declared a total ban of workers going to Nigeria on the account of the successive kidnapping incidents in Nigeria’s oil areas which involve OFWs. The action may have been justifiable at that point. The ban affected not only New Hires but vacationing OFWs as well, even those OFWs who are working in Lagos and non-oil areas for a long time already.

Early in 2007, upon the strength of the petition of some expatriate companies in Nigeria, the OFW association in Nigeria and endorsement of the Philippine Embassy, the Total Ban was scaled-down to Partial Ban, allowing only the vacationing OFWs with valid work visa to return to Nigeria.

After the resolution of the kidnapping issue, which involved not only Filipinos but other nationals as well, the Philippine government still maintained the ban on New Hire.

In Oct 2007, returning OFWs to Nigeria found themselves barred by Immigration and POEA officials at the NAIA because they were told a total ban is in effect.

We, the OFWs in Nigeria, believe that the imposition of a ban is not the solution to this issue of kidnapping, which for the record, also involved other nationalities. The continued ban is just hurting every Filipinos’ chances of getting a decent work and a chance to contribute to the Philippine economy.

By declaring a ban on Nigeria on issue of security of the country, the Philippine government is no less insulting the capabilities of the host country to maintain its internal peace and order. The present administration of His Excellency President Yaradua is doing huge effort to secure the oil areas and guaranty the safety of all expatriate workers.

One thing is certain in our minds, the kidnapping incidents in specific areas of Nigeria is not a mirror of the entire country’s state of security.

The OFWs themselves in the oil-areas have sent numerous letters to the Philippine embassy assuring the embassy that they feel safe with the present security efforts implemented in their workplace.

Filipino workers in Nigeria are found in Oil industry, civil and military aviation (pilots and avionics), Construction, Manufacturing, telecoms and service industries. Others are married to Nigerians, and the rest are relatives of Filipinos with residency.

We assure the government and our loved ones that Nigeria is a decent and relatively safe country to work and stay.

Advisory

Instead of declaring a ban, may we recommend that the government should do what other governments are doing – give out advisory to Filipino workers in Nigeria to take precaution and observe company security policies. Then it should advise the embassy to coordinate communication with oil companies to ensure Filipinos will have direct line to embassy if their safety is threatened.

Bilateral Agreement

The present administration could also establish bilateral agreement with Nigeria and take an active role as major partner of Nigeria’s growing economy and its increasing demand for foreign workers. Philippines could lend a hand to Nigeria when it comes to village health care and education.

State Visit

Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo should consider making a state visit to Lagos/Abuja and go up in history as the only Philippine president to ever visit an African State, and the maybe the second head of state from SoutheastAsia to do so, after China’s Hu Jintao.

Preceding her state visit, a Philippines-Nigeria Business Cooperation summit maybe be organized. This is to paved the way for the establishment an office to handle Philippine investors coming to Nigeria, and as liaison to various Nigerian authorities.

Embassy Support

The DFA should open a consular office in Lagos. Considering that Lagos is the arrival and departure point for expatriates, and there are more Filipinos based in Lagos than in Abuja. Even Port Harcourt-based OFWs regulalry come to Lagos for R&R.

Also, deploy a POLO in Abuja embassy and in Lagos Consulate to process and document all Filipino workers in West African countries. Undocumented Filipinos here wanted to be registered with OWWA and POEA and legitimize their existence.

Last April 2008, Energy Sec. Angelo Reyes visited Lagos, Nigeria to attend a world energy summit. He saw for himself the status of Filipinos and the community in Lagos. And he can surely vouch for the stable peace and order of Nigeria.

If the government truly cares, it should put a ban on the hiring of DH to Middle East, Marianas.

There is more to gain for the government in lifting the ban on Nigeria immediately.