The Philippine government on Monday banned the deployment of newly-hired overseas Filipino workers ( OFWs) to troubled areas in Thailand. In a statement, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the ban on the deployment of OFWs to four areas in Thailand was issued by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). Newly-hired OFWs will no longer be allowed to go to Bangkok, Nonthaburi Province, Lad Lum Kaew District in Pathumthani Province and Bang Phli District in Samutprakan Province. The Department of Foreign Affairs earlier raised crisis Alert Level 2 in these areas following the 60-day state of emergency declared by Bangkok to quell anti-government protests. Baldoz said that under Crisis Alert Level 2, only the processing and deployment of returning OFWs with existing contracts will be allowed and that the deployment of newly-hired workers will be suspended. POEA records show that annual deployment of OFWs to Thailand declined to 6,021 last year, from 9,204 in 2012.