THE SENATE is bent on conducting a comprehensive review of existing protection mechanisms for Filipinos based in Iraq, which has been saddled with years of conflict and political strife.

Filed by Senator Ferdinand “Robin” C. Padilla on March 14, the proposed Senate Resolution No. 969 seeks an inquiry in aid of legislation with the aim of making refinements to existing measures safeguarding Filipinos in Iraq.

“It is imperative to conduct a comprehensive review of the efficacy of measures in place to safeguard the well-being of Filipino nationals in Iraq, including the evaluation of the country’s overall security situation,” it said.

Last year, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) welcomed a delegation of Iraq officials who asked the Philippines to lift a deployment ban on Filipino workers to aid Iraq’s need for healthcare sector workers.

The Iraq delegation had also invited Philippine Foreign Affairs officials to assess what they called an improving security situation in the country.

In 2021, the crisis level in Iraq reached Alert Level 3, prompting the Department of Foreign Affairs to call on Filipinos there to voluntarily return to the Philippines. — John Victor D. Ordoñez