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Philippines: No More Workers to Jordan

January 23, 2008  |  Share

Philippines: No More Workers to Jordan

January 23, 2008

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines has imposed an indefinite ban on the deployment of workers to Jordan because of growing reports of maids being mistreated and abused there, officials said Wednesday.

The ban took effect Monday on the order of Labor Secretary Arturo Brion, said Rosalinda Baldoz, head of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.

"I received an order to stop the deployment of (workers) to Jordan, and this is because of the growing number of Filipinos in distress," Baldoz told a press conference.

She said the country's labor attache in Jordan has reported that between 120 and 150 Filipino workers, mostly maids, have fled their employers and sought refuge at a Philippine-run center in Amman. Their complaints include nonpayment of wages, mistreatment and rape.

The ban is only for newly hired workers and does not apply to workers returning to "good-standing" employers in Jordan, Baldoz added.

In Jordan, Majed al-Habashneh, secretary-general of the Labor Ministry, told The Associated Press that the ministry was not officially informed of the action being taken. Al-Habashneh said the Labor Ministry is in constant contact with the Philippine Embassy via joint committees that deal with worker problems in Jordan.

There are 16,274 Filipinos currently working in Jordan. Some 8 million Filipinos — or nearly 10 percent of the Philippines' population of about 90 million — work overseas.

Aside from Jordan, the Philippines has also banned the deployment of workers to Nigeria, Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan.

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