Even newly hired Filipino workers can now be deployed to Qatar following the total lifting of the deployment moratorium, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III announced on Thursday.
In a statement, Bello said the decision came after consultation with the Department of Foreign Affairs and upon the recommendation of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO).
"This decision was arrived at on the advice of Foreign Affairs Secretary Allan Peter Cayetano and upon the recommendation of Qatar POLO following their assessment of the situation in the Gulf state," he said.
Bello said the Qatari government has guaranteed the safety of around 240,000 Filipinos in Qatar and affirmed that they have the ability to withstand any possible economic shocks out of the diplomatic impasse with its neighboring Arab countries.
The government implemented the suspension last week following the decision of several Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia to cut ties with Qatar over accusations that it supports extremist groups, including ISIS.
Labor Attaché David Des Dicang said the situation in Qatar has "normalized."
Despite this, POLO is still coordinating with the Qatari authorities to discuss possible difficulties regarding the repatriation of distressed OFWs temporarily accommodated at the Migrant Workers and other Overseas Filipinos Resource Center (MWOFRC).
Bello said POLO is also looking into the possible situation of Household Service Worker (HSWs) of non-Qatari employers, who will be left in the country or will be forced to travel with their employers.
The Philippine Embassy, meanwhile, has requested the deployment of newly-hired workers to Qatar, particularly to the Philippine School Doha (PSD) and Philippine International School-Qatar (PISQ).
"We respectfully request to allow the deployment so as not to hamper the operations of our Philippine schools and to allay fears of the revocation of their school permits issued by the Qatar government,” Dicang said.
A total of 28 new teachers and 20 bus drivers of PSD and 51 new teachers of PISQ have pending applications with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. —KBK, GMA News