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Philippines has put ban on working in Qatar amid middle east crisis

According to latest reports, Government of Philippines has for the time being barred its workers from travelling to Qatar following several Arab countries bust off political ties with the Gulf state.

Reports said Qatar is being cut off by its neighbours who indict it of behind Islamist militants and Iran.

According to the official figures above two million documented Filipinos work in the Middle East, with almost 140,000 are living in Qatar.

Meanwhile the government said it was alarmed about the “ripple effect” of the disaster on its overseas foreign workers.

Country’s Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello said the ban would be in position until it finished an assessment of the situation.

“There are so many wild rumours going around, saying things are not going well there,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

Philippine citizens work abroad  in millions as domestic helpers, ship crew, construction workers and nurses among other jobs.

So many of them moved to Gulf states like Saudi Arabia, which hosts nearly a million Filipinos, and Qatar.

As per country’s central bank the money sent back by its foreign workers last year was $26.9bn, or about 10% of gross domestic product. government think one of its main uncertainties was a possible risk of food shortages in Qatar, which imports about 90% of its produce.

In the mean time Qatari government said in a statement on Monday it had taken all required measures to ensure life would carry on as normal under the cordon and that there was no need to panic.

Furthermore Philippine Business Council in Qatar stressed it is “business as usual” for Filipinos working in Qatar.

Qatar is very much reliant on overseas workers. Close to 90% of its 2.5 million population is likely to be from overseas , led by India, Nepal and Bangladesh.

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