Dead Filipina found in Kuwait triggers total workers ban

15 February, 2018, 05:58 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • 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. (Manny Llanes  Manila

Bello assured Filipino workers who would be repatriated from Kuwait as well as those who would be affected by the ban that they will be assisted in finding alternative employment in the Philippines or overseas.

Authorities say 252,000 Filipinos work in Kuwait, many as maids.

"In support of President Rodrigo R. Duterte's request for Philippine carriers to help repatriate Filipino OFWs in Kuwait, Philippine Airlines will be mounting a special flight from Kuwait to Manila within the next few days", PAL said in a statement late Saturday.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III is set to issue on Monday a total deployment ban order of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Kuwait.

He emphasized that Kuwait was obligated under worldwide law to compensate victims of what the Philippines considered "horrendous crimes".

Kuwait's embassy in Manila declined to comment.

Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said his department was coordinating with other state agencies to take steps in implementing Duterte's order.

Cebu Pacific said in a press statement that they are now working with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait on the final travel settlements.

"We are here to see to it that every Filipino is treated decently", he said.

Roque said the repatriated Filipinos who arrived in Manila yesterday morning was only the first batch of Filipinos allowed to leave the Gulf state after applying for amnesty.

According to OWWA representatives, the OFWs will temporarily stay at their OWWA headquarters in Pasay City for processing.

Duterte on February 9 said he wanted to bring home the Filipino workers in Kuwait within 72 hours after a Filipina, identified as Joanna Daniela Dimapilis, was found dead in a freezer in an uninhabited apartment in Kuwait.

Aside from Demafelis, the death of seven other Filipino household workers in Kuwait are also being investigated. The woman's body bore torture marks and indications that she was strangled to death.

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. They are among over 2 million employed in the region, whose remittances are a lifeline to the Philippine economy.

The Philippines is one of the primary sources of domestic workers overseas, including Singapore, China's Hong Kong and Middle East countries like Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

"But a total ban is not the solution". Hopefully, there will be bilateral agreements soon, Roque said.

He said a total ban on deployment without the government necessarily offering sustainable job alternatives at home would "not stop our desperate compatriots from finding work in prohibited places".



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