Filipinos are now allowed to travel Iraq. Travel ban has been lifted but travel advisory will still remain in place.
The new regulation states that all passports issued after July 2011 shall no longer bear a “Not valid to travel Iraq” stamp. However, officials at the Philippine Embassy have advised Filipinos seeking for employment or other purposes shall travel at their own risk.
Filipinos seeking for a potential high earning job will most likely take risk traveling to Iraq in exchange of a good employment package. Iraq having one of the biggest oil reserves in the Middle East area has been targeting skilled workers and other professionals to work in their oilfields and oil refineries. Philippines as a labour market wanted to have a piece of this opportunity hoping to increase dollar remittances from OFWs’.
It is not only Iraq that has been banned by the Philippine government for overseas Filipino workers there are other countries like Nigeria, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Jordan but passports has not been stamped on such travel ban. Though however, there are Filipinos in that banned countries flourished despite existing risk there is.
I hope, the Philippine government concerned agencies should reasonably act and advocating on what is beneficial for the country and would be OFWs’. It is not only the amount of possible remittances that the Philippines would be receiving but avoiding future beheading and kidnapping of our poor overseas Filipino workers.