Bonjour. Mabuhay.

Planning to work abroad? The government says it is better to choose countries that have worker friendly regulations.

PHILIPPINE Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) maintained its position to protect rights of Filipino migrant workers by implementing a deployment ban in 41 countries found violating existing labor laws.

POEA Regional Director Delfina Camarillo claimed these countries have no existing labor and social laws protecting the rights of migrant workers and are not signatories to multilateral conventions or declarations meant to protect workers and concluded bilateral agreement between the Philippines and their country to safeguard overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Among the countries declared for deployment ban are Afghanistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Chad, Croatia, Cuba, North Korea, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Eritrea, Haiti, India, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Montenegro, Mozambique, Nauru, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, Palestine, Serbia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tonga, Turks and Caicos, Tuvalu, US Virgin islands, Vanuatu and Zimbabwe.

Camarillo claimed among the countries where there are current deployments of foreign workers in the region includes Libya, Cayman Islands, India, Cambodia and Lebanon.

Professional and skilled workers like nurses and medical health professionals, English teachers, hotel and tourism industry workers and domestic helpers already deployed in these countries will be affected by the new order from the POEA.

With the order, employment opportunities in these countries will lessen as the country deserves the right to protect its citizens from abuses and violations committed by citizens of these countries against migrant workers.

Although amenable that most of the violations also occur in compliant countries especially in the Middle East and in parts of Southeast Asia, she said these countries have been compliant with existing laws and have also been cooperating closely with the government in resolving labor problems.

She advised prospective OFWs to choose instead the countries where they want to work including the company or individual they will be working with by checking track records and other pertinent information about their employers.

Agencies hiring Filipino migrant workers must also be accredited by the POEA.

She said it is about time the country strictly implements provisions set by Republic Act 10022 or the Migrant Workers Act to fully protect OFWs who have been helpful in keeping the country’s economy afloat by sending their hard-earned money through remittances to their families. http://www.sunstar.com.ph/baguio/local-news/2011/11/09/ofws-told-choose-work-pinoy-friendly-countries-189538