Byline: DAVID CAGAHASTIAN
At least 50 Filipino truck drivers have been stopped by the government from entering Iraq from Iraqs neighboring countries, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced yesterday.
It added the government continues to implement the deployment ban on Filipino workers, especially truck drivers, going to Iraq in an effort to ensure the safety of Filipino workers in the Middle East.
he DFA said the entry ban on Filipino truck drivers to Iraq will stay indefinitely, but negotiations with Iraqs neighboring countries are ongoing to ensure job security for Filipino truck drivers in the Middle East, whose contracts include crossing into Iraqi borders.
DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Jose Brillantes announced that the Saudi Arabian Interior Ministry has issued a directive not to allow Filipino truck drivers to cross into Iraqi borders from Saudi Arabian entry points like those in Arar and Khafji.
Brillantes said Filipino truck drivers may cite this directive to their Saudi employers when they would be asked to deliver supplies from Saudi Arabia to American military bases in Iraq.
(The Filipino truck drivers) are now in a stronger position, because now they can cite an order from the Saudi Arabian Interior Ministry, prohibiting crossing borders into Iraq. Now, there is an official order (against forcing Filipino truck drivers to cross into Iraq), Brillantes said.
Brillantes added the DFA is expecting a similar directive from other countries neighboring Iraq, like Kuwait and Jordan, to ensure job security for Filipino truck drivers in the Middle East whose contracts may include crossing into Iraqi borders. …