GDN: THE Philippines Embassy yesterday said it still had not received official word on an alert status to be lifted to enable new Filipino recruits to visit Bahrain. An embassy official said there was confusion on the issue after the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) announced in its advisory that the travel ban was lifted for new hires as well as workers returning to Bahrain.
The embassy had earlier said that it was awaiting official confirmation to be sent to it.
"It's still not clear and there is a confusion that is being sorted out by government agencies in Manila," said the official.
"The POEA said that the ban has been lifted, but according to the protocol the embassy would reduce the alert status to Bahrain only when it is notified by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)," the official added.
POEA officer-in-charge Rhea Glynda Calantas was quoted in the media on Wednesday as stating that Bahrain's alert status had been reduced from Alert Level 2 to 1.
This meant the POEA would allow Filipinos with new job contracts in Bahrain and returning workers with valid work visas or residence permits to travel to Bahrain.
"We have not received any circular from DFA which means the ban very much stands," said the embassy official.
"POEA represents the Department of Labour and Employment but DFA is responsible body to downgrade alert status in countries."
The embassy is waiting for a circular from DFA, following which it would make an announcement stating that travel ban imposed during the unrest has been lifted.
The official said they had notified DFA that the situation in Bahrain was normal after the State of National Safety was lifted on Wednesday.