Philippines Report

Philippines, Oman agree to end travel ban

Philippines, Oman agree to end travel ban

The Philippines’ suspension of the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Oman has ended after both countries discussed the mutual lifting of the travel and deployment ban.

Last week, the Philippine government, through the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), suspended the deployment of OFWs to Oman after the Middle Eastern country included Filipinos and travelers from the Philippines in its travel ban.

According to POEA administrator Bernard Olalia, the Oman government agreed to lift the travel ban on the Philippines during a Zoom meeting between Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Oman Ambassador Munther Mahfoodh Salem Al-Mantheri and hosted by the President’s special envoy to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states, Amable Aguiluz V.

Olalia said Tuesday the Omani government clarified it was not their intention to block the entry of OFWs and Filipino travelers to Oman.

On the other hand, Bello said that when the ban is lifted, the Philippines will also lift its temporary suspension on OFW deployment to Oman.

Bello also reported that at the end of the meeting last Monday, “We signed an agreement. Ambassador Al-Mantheri promised to talk to his government to lift the ban. Maybe when the ban is lifted, we will also lift the suspension.”

The signing was witnessed by Aguiluz, who expressed confidence that the Omani government will act swiftly and favorably as in 2004, Oman’s Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr Al Busaidi, who was then undersecretary for foreign affairs, supported our appeal to lift the ban against OFWs desiring to work in Oman.

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