Monday, 20 August, 2018

More than 2200 Filipinos ready to leave Kuwait amid abuse concerns

OFW FROM KUWAIT- 25 Overseas Filipino Workers arrive at NAIA 1 today morning at 6:30 am. via Philippines Airlines flight PR 669 from Kuwait. Tomorrow morning will be expected two flights more OFWs at the said terminal according to OWWA officers. (F As Duterte extends deployment ban on Kuwait, airlines ready special flights to bring home OFWs
Faye Gross | 15 February, 2018, 07:37

Villa offered a much higher number of Filipino workers in Kuwait - 250,000 - and said 65 percent were domestic workers.

Labour secretary Silvestre Bello on Monday announced a "total ban" on new employment in Kuwait, including Filipinos who had already obtained employment permits but had not yet left for the country.

Duterte on Friday brandished photos purporting to show a Filipina maid found in a freezer, saying she had been "roasted like a pig".

A DFA source said only Undersecretary Ernesto Abella is authorized to speak about the issue of repatriation from Kuwait. Demafelis' family members have sought the help of the Philippine government in the quest for justice for the victim.

"With the advent of the series of reports involving abuses and deaths of overseas Filipino workers in Kuwait, a total ban on deployment of all overseas workers ... is hereby enforced", Mr Bello said, reading an order.

Arman Hernando, head of Migrante-Philippines, a migrant workers' group, said the ban would serve as a wake-up call for the Kuwaiti government to respect Filipino workers.

The Philippine foreign affairs department said on Monday that authorities were repatriating 10,000 overstaying Filipinos from Kuwait under an amnesty programme arranged with the Kuwaiti government.

The ones now being repatriated are those who availed themselves of the amnesty program for overstaying Filipino nationals that the Kuwaiti government approved last month.

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Officials added they were eyeing China and Russian Federation as "alternative markets" for overseas workers. "We will also go after illegal recruiters, human traffickers and other modern-day slave traders who continue to victimise our people".

Demafelis was one of the seven OFWs who died in Kuwait, which prompted the Philippine government to order a recruitment ban to the Gulf State.

The DFA added that it further reiterated its request for concrete action from the Kuwaiti Government to address the maltreatment and other abuses suffered by Filipinos in Kuwait.

Roque identified the two Arab countries as "more humane" host nations for Filipino workers, following President Duterte's decision to repatriate distressed workers from Kuwait.

To date, some 2,229 Filipinos have been issued travel documents, and 1,754 of them have been granted immigration clearances.

He added that upon arrival in the country, the returning OFWs will each be given P20,000 (US$400) for livelihood assistance. "Kuwait, under global law, has a legal obligation to provide legal redress for the victims, Filipino victims of these horrendous crimes in Kuwait", Roque said during a Palace press briefing.

The Kuwaiti government has yet to comment on the Philippines' total OFW deployment ban to their country.

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