President’s Special Envoy to the Gulf Cooperation Council, Dr. Amable R. Aguiluz V, received information from the Omani Ambassador to the Philippines, His Excellency MUNTHER MAHFOODS SALIM ALMANTHERI informing the Special Envoy that on August23, 2021, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Sultanate of Oman has issued on August 23, 2021 a Circular No. 19/2021 lifting the travel restrictions imposed on countries, including the Philippines, from which arrivals are prohibited from entering the territory of the Sultanate. This directive shall be effective 12:00 p.m. (Oman local time) on Wednesday, 01 September 2021.

It may be recalled that on 04 May 2021, Oman imposed a ban on the entry of travelers from the Philippines or travelers transiting through the Philippines 14 days prior to the application for entry into Oman. In effect, since May this year, Filipino workers have not been deployed to Oman.

Consequently, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), issued a resolution on 18 June 2021 imposing a temporary ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to Oman.

This prompted Envoy Aguiluz to host a zoom meeting on June 21, 2021, between Sec Silvestre H. Bello III, and Oman Ambassador Almantheri, in order to harmonize the policies of the two (2) countries so that deployment of Filipino workers to Oman could resume.

The said meeting concluded with the 2 parties agreeing that upon issuance of a lifting order by Oman authorities, DOLE will likewise lift the deployment ban on Filipino workers to Oman.

The close personal relationship of Envoy Aguiluz to the Oman Minister of Foreign Affairs, HE Sayyid Badr Albusaidi, has hastened the process of the lifting of the ban.