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Philippine government lifts ban on worker deployment in Afghanistan

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MANILA, Nov. 18 Xinhua — The Philippine government has lifted its travel ban to Afghanistan, Lebanon and Nigeria and is now allowing a fresh batch of Filipino workers to seek employment in these countries, said the Department of Labor on Sunday.

However, travel ban to strife-torn Iraq will continue to be enforced, the Department of Labor said.

Manila has imposed the ban on Iraq following the kidnapping of two Filipinos in 2004 and 2005.

Angelo de la Cruz, who was threatened to be beheaded by his captors, in July 2004, was released when President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo capitulated to the demand of the kidnappers to withdraw a small Philippine contingent in Iraq.

Another Filipino, accountant Robert Tarongoy, was also abducted by militants and later freed in June 2005 after eight months of captivity.

But Philippine officials said 7,000 or more are working in Iraq, mainly for U.S. military camps, because of high pays, despite the ban.

The Labor department said Filipinos will be allowed to work for subcontractors employed by the U.S. and coalition forces as well as the United Nations agencies in Afghanistan.

New workers will also be allowed to work in Lebanon as well as in oil companies in Nigeria amid continuous reports of kidnapping of foreigners there.

The ban was imposed due to deteriorating security, war and abductions in the said countries.

A Filipino woman was found killed and her body was thrown into a well in Afghanistan earlier this year, according to local media reports.

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Written by afghandevnews

November 18, 2007 at 4:38 pm

Posted in Security

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