Here we go again.

Why the pretension??

The Philippine government is mulling the idea of lifting the travel & work ban to Iraq and Lebanon.

Let me think again what was the rationale behind the imposition of the full an on both countries.

In Iraq, well, the entire place is just aint safe for any non-Iraqi and non Al-Qaeda. Period. Even at this point of reduction of US forces. It is not that they reduce because the nation has become stable in terms of security, but because of pressure from anti-US elements in Iraq.

Iraq is like a cup of water coming out of the microwave. You think it has cooled down after 30 minutes. But dip your finger and you will know it is lava-hot…

The government should not be in a hurry to lift the ban because it will just put the OFWs into risks that they wanted to avoid in the first place.  I am hopeful that Iraq will become stable in a few more years, to be safe enought for OFW joining its reconstruction..

On Lebanon, the government declared a ban because of the Israeli-Hezbollah war, which affected South and Middle (Beirut) Lebanon.

Despite the ending of the war, the ‘joke-only’ ban is still in place — so the DFA said. But the truth is, there are more Filipinas rushing to Lebanon than to Nigeria, for reasons i cannot comprehend.

Why Filipinas would flock to Lebanon despite the utterly low wages (200 USD), the almost slavery-like living conditions and maltreatment by the Lebanese household. Of course, there are exceptions. I know of some Filipinas who were lucky enough to be with well-off Lebanese family and were treated well.

But look at the news of how many Filipinas were victimized by abusive employers than those put at risk because of intermittent violence between Arabs and Israelis?

It is pretty obvious why the government is such in a hurry to lift the ban to Iraq and Lebanon.

1. Election is just around the corner and the OFWs loss of jobs in some counties will be a big killer issue against the present administration

2. Plenty of manpower agencies lobbying for the lifting of the ban

3. Big remittance expected from Middle East if Iraq and Lebanon ban is lifted (no effect to diaspora anyway, except to the happy BI people)

If the reason for the Lebanese ban is only the Hezbollah war, which has long ended, by all means, lift the ban to Lebanon.

If the government is prepared to sacrifice OFWs for Iraqi remittance, by all means, lift the ban to Iraq.

Of course, some people in the government, like immigration people and some in POEA, Embassy staff there, will not be happy if the ban to Iraq and Lebanon is finally lifted.

 If lifting the ban to Iraq and Lebanon will do good to our HSWs to those countries, i am all for it…

Bagong Bayani….

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