Philippines says Arab-Qatar rift may have repercussions for Filipino workers

Philippines says Arab-Qatar rift may have repercussions for Filipino workers

He said the POLO in Qatar is stocking food for OFWs while recruitment agencies are coordinating with their counterparts to ensure sufficient protection for Filipino workers.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut diplomatic relations with Qatar in a coordinated move on Monday, accusing it of supporting Islamist militants and Iran.

He added that there were 141,000 documented Filipino workers in Qatar a year ago, but there could be more than 200,000 if undocumented workers are included.

As of 2016, there are around 141,000 documented OFWs in Qatar.

"For example, we know for a fact that Qatar does not produce its own food".

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"That's why we really need to make preparatory measures to meet a possible exigency". "There is no food riot, but Filipinos were advised to prepare", Bello said, adding that the suspension of deployment covered even Filipinos with complete paperwork now. Cynthia Villar urged Filipino workers in Qatar "to keep calm and get in touch with the Philippine Embassy in Doha on any concerns arising from the diplomatic row between Qatar and other Gulf states". Bello can handle the situation in Qatar. "Our labor attache there is giving us fresh reports", Labor undersecretary Dominador Say told reporters in an ambush interview during the ASEAN anti-human trafficking workshop in Makati City.

Malacañang vowed to extend assistance to OFWs who would be affected by the diplomatic crisis. Saudi Arabia has blocked all land, sea and air routes to Qatar, and the UAE has closed its airports and harbors to Qatari flights and shipping.

"We also need to consider the Filipinos working for Qatari-owned companies in the Philippines and elsewhere such as Qatar Airways, which is the second biggest air carrier in the Gulf region".

"We are prepared to welcome citizens home if such a decision is made", said Nabila Makram, Minister of Immigration and Egyptian Expatriate Affairs, in an interview with an Egyptian TV channel. There were previous incidents - let us say in the Middle East including the all-out war, and this did not significantly impede the flow of remittances.

THE Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) has ordered the suspension of the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Qatar effective Tuesday, June 6, as it would be assessing the situation in the host country. "It is very premature to draw any conclusion to a news that is just unfolding". For the whole of 2017, the central bank expects remittances to grow 4 percent from last year's $26.9 billion, which was equal to around 10 percent of gross domestic product. Qatar was one of the major sources of cash remittances during the period.

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