Philippines ban foils visa cheats in Bahrain
Manama, May 6, 2012
A ban on Filipino tourists visiting Bahrain has led to a dramatic reduction in the number of people flouting local visa laws, said a Philippines Embassy official.
The restrictions were imposed by the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila amid safety concerns during the height of last year's unrest.
But despite the Philippines government lowering its crisis level following the lifting of the State of National Safety last May the ban was never lifted.
"There has been a decline in the number of undocumented workers since last year because of the ban on tourists visiting Bahrain in place and the pre-departure inspections of Filipinos leaving for Bahrain," the official said.
"In the past, we had to deal with overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who enter Bahrain as tourists and end up as undocumented workers.
"All Filipinos travelling to Bahrain for employment should have their job contract notarised by the embassy, failure of which leads to the traveller being off-loaded."
The official said the tight screening of Filipinos leaving the country was necessary to prevent human trafficking and illegal recruitment.
However, existing workers returning from holiday, Filipinos with job contracts and parents and children of Filipino residents in Bahrain were still allowed to travel to Bahrain.
The official said diplomats had continuously tried to reassure the government that the situation in Bahrain was safe.
"We continue to communicate with our government and the tourist ban is for non-essential travel," he said. "It will only be lifted by our government depending on the situation in the country."
There are over 45,000 Filipinos living in Bahrain.
The Philippines tightened its emigration rules to Bahrain as a result of the unrest during which anti-government factions attacked Asians - killing four people and injuring dozens more.
In March last year a Filipina woman was injured during attacks on Asians in Manama.
At the time Philippines Ambassador Corazon Yap-Bahjin revealed anti-government protesters photographed the victim, who was hit by a stone, and posted her pictures on the Internet, falsely claiming she had been assaulted by Saudi troops.
A ban on all travel to Bahrain was imposed by the Philippines Overseas Employment Administration in February last year.
It was lifted on July 5, following a recommendation by the embassy that the situation had returned to normal. – TradeArabia News Service
More Government & Laws Stories
- Galfar ex-CEO gets 15 years' jail over bribes
- New law on family violence on the way in Bahrain
- Four blast suspects are remanded in Bahrain
- Bahrain to step up war on terror
- Norton Rose Fulbright moves London head to Dubai
- DSG ‘ready to implement Smart Dubai Strategy’
- Iraqi women protest new draft law
- Bahrain police 'face more danger in line of duty'
- Saudi names Brotherhood as terrorist group
- Qatar outraged over terror claims
- Bahrain PM condemns exploitation of children
- Qatar will not alter foreign policy: source
- Bahrain accuses Iran of fomenting trouble
- 'Put security before rights' in Bahrain: publisher
- 'Hizbollah trained Daih blast suspect'
- Key terror blast suspects named in Bahrain
- $2.6m Royal Fund for martyrs set up
- Bahrain to draw up new anti-terror laws
- GCC ROW: Qatar voices surprise over envoys pull out
- GCC tobacco tax rise ‘will fuel illicit trade’
- Saudi, UAE, Bahrain withdraw envoys from Qatar
- Bahrain explosion draws global condemnation
- GDN photographer hurt in blast is discharged
- Iran playing increasing role in Bahrain unrest
- Bahrain launches 6-point plan to fight terror
- Sisi gives sign he will run for president
- New Saudi clamp on energy drinks
- Health insurance must for Saudi visa
- Qatari doctor gets 7 years jail in UAE
- Family violence law articles approved in Bahrain