OFWs in Iran, Lebanon can stay, says labor chief

January 09, 2020
Silvestre Bello III

LABOR Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III yesterday said that Filipinos in Iran and Lebanon are no longer covered by the mandatory repatriation imposed by the Philippine government amid the chaos in the Middle East.

“Initially, the level of alert for Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon are the same—Alert Level 4. Although it was unofficial, I was informed yesterday that the alert level in Lebanon was put down to level 2 and I understand that there’s no more alert level in Iran,” Bello said in an interview.

However, Bello said the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration will not be processing any deployment application in the two countries for the meantime.

He also added that the mandatory evacuation for OFWs in Iraq is still in place and a deployment ban is also in effect.

On Wednesday, Alert Level 4 has been raised in Iraq after the death of top Iranian military general Qassem Soleimani in a US airstrike sparked turmoil in the Middle East.