THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) started implementing the ban on deployment of newly-hired domestic workers to Kuwait, it said in a statement.

The ban was authorized by a resolution from the governing board of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) on Jan. 3.

The resolution banned the deployment of new-hire domestic workers to Kuwait following the death of domestic worker Jeanelyn Padernal Villavende.

However, overseas employment certificates for Kuwait issued on or before 5 p.m. of Jan. 3 are still valid for deployment.

BI acting port operations division chief Grifton SP. Medina said all immigration officers in various ports have been instructed to impose the ban.

“Our system is integrated with POEA’s [system] hence with a click of a finger, we would be able to verify an OFW’s records immediately,” he said.

Commissioner Jaime H. Morente said the immigration bureau will also await word from the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Labor and Employment should bans be imposed on deployment to Iraq, Iran, and Libya.

The US staged an air strike in Iraq which killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, raising the prospect of further violence in the region.

The Pentagon said US President Donald Trump ordered the air strike following an attack by a pro-Iran mob on the US embassy in Baghdad.

The Philippine Embassy in Iraq also instructed OFWs there to go on leave after the strike.

“The government’s primary concern is the welfare of our kababayan (countrymen), hence the BI is ready to implement any directive regarding our foreign policy or OFW deployment should the concerned agencies sees a need to implement any change,” Mr. Morente said. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas