POEA ready to help OFWs affected by US ban

MANILA — The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) on Wednesday assured it is ready to assist overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who will be affected by the United States government’s decision to impose a ban on the issuance of temporary work visas for Filipinos.

“We will try to assist these OFWs in finding employment in other markets abroad. We will remind our OFWs who are on-process that they cannot be deployed there yet due to the ban,” POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia said in a television interview.

Olalia noted that they are now coordinating with other concerned government agencies regarding the possibility of appealing the order.

“We will work with the other agencies, like the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs), on how to address this issue,” the POEA head said.

In a notice issued last week, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a ban on the issuance of temporary work visas for Filipinos seeking agricultural and non-agricultural jobs there from January 19, 2019 until January 18, 2020.

The DHS cited a high rate of overstaying Filipinos in the US and concerns over the “high volume of trafficking victims” from the Philippines who were originally issued H-2B visas. (PNA)