AMID the lingering tension between the United States and Iran, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has directed recruitment and manning agencies to closely monitor the condition of their land-based and sea-based overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Middle East.
In separate advisories, the POEA required recruitment and manning agencies to submit to the POEA Welfare and Employment Office every Tuesday of the week reports on the conditions of their respective OFWs deployed in Middle East states.
“Manning agencies are directed to regularly coordinate with their respective principals, and closely monitor the condition of their deployed seafarers onboard,” said POEA Advisory No. 02-2020.
“All Philippine Recruitment Agencies (PRAS) deploying Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to the Middle East are advised to vigilantly monitor the status of their deployed workers, in view of the tension between the Iran and the United States of America which could affect the entire region,” said POEA Advisory No. 03-2020.
For manning agencies, in particular, the POEA said there is a need to monitor the statuses of Filipino seafarers’ on board vessels transiting in the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, and the Indian Ocean.
In addition, the POEA asked manning agencies to provide the government with an inventory/list of all seafarers, including exact trade routes, type of vessel, contact numbers, and information on their respective employers with contact numbers/addresses.
The POEA said recruitment and manning agencies are mandated to use the prescribed OFW monitoring form in their reports.
Tensions rose in the Middle East between the United States and Iran earlier this year stemming from the American government’s assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Iraq.
The Philippine government has imposed a total deployment ban, including crew changes and shore leaves, in Iraq.