PH Embassy in Iraq launches ID program for Filipinos to ensure their safety

Published April 18, 2021, 8:58 PM

by Roy Mabasa

The Philippine Embassy in Baghdad has launched an ID Program for Filipinos in Iraq as part of its advocacy of documenting all nationals in Iraq.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the move aims to provide a sense of security and an alternate mode of identification among overseas Filipinos especially in critical situations where some employers opt to confiscate passports under the Kafala system. 

Under the Kafala system, foreign workers are required to have an in-country sponsor responsible for their visa and legal status, creating opportunities for exploitation as some employers confiscate their passports.

Since 2019, DFA records showed that four Filipinos have been imprisoned for lack of proper documentation such as passports and proper visas. 

There are currently 1,900 documented overseas Filipino workers in Iraq, 433 of them are in Erbil, 293 in the capital Baghdad, 101 in Suli, and the rest are thinly spread in other parts of the country. An estimated 500 Filipinos are classified as undocumented, said the DFA in a report. 

Most of the Filipinos in Iraq are employed as household workers, office workers, nurses, firefighters, electrical technicians, food workers, among others. 

To avail themselves of the free ID, the Philippine Embassy encourages Filipinos to register at or download the form and email it to [email protected]  together with the copy of passport and 2×2 photo.