Tuesday, 20 February, 2018

Duterte meets second batch of repatriated Filipino workers from Kuwait

A group of recruitment companies expressed support on the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to extend the suspension of the deployment of overseas Filipino workers to Kuwait As Duterte extends deployment ban on Kuwait, airlines ready special flights to bring home OFWs
Ellis Copeland | 14 February, 2018, 23:07

Cacdac said that while the Philippines has general bilateral agreements with Kuwait, the two nations have none on Filipino workers. She started working in Kuwait in 2014, to help her family and support her siblings, one of whom finished a course in criminology, family members said.

Duterte also said the government would examine other markets for OFWs - citing China and Japan as examples of markets that are opening up to Filipino workers - but that his administration is already increasing efforts to attract foreign business to the Philippines in a bid to create more jobs locally.

"As to the need for justice, we will hold Kuwait responsible under the concept of state responsibility", Mr. Duterte's spokesman, Harry Roque, said on Monday.

Also in 2017, Kuwait executed Jakatia Pawa, a 44-year-old Filipina maid, after a court convicted her of murdering her employer's daughter.

Those who would be flown home would be assisted in finding employment, Cayetano said, adding the 400 were just a small portion of the estimated 10,000 Filipinos who had signed up for the repatriation.

Meanwhile, Kuwait's interior ministry denied on Monday social media reports that security personnel escorted Filipino domestic workers from citizens' houses against their will.

Some 150 OFWs were initially scheduled to arrive in Manila but 12 of them did not show up while the other 22 were held by Kuwait authorities due to their pending cases, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said. "I want them out of the country (Kuwait) in 72 hours", said Duterte in Davao City, southern Philippines on Friday.

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Roque said under the global law, every country had an obligation to protect and give justice to the migrant workers.

In January, the Philippines' Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) suspended the deployment of OFWs to Kuwait after seven Filipina domestic workers were reported to have died allegedly from abuses. "This is a national shame and yet we proclaim the OFWs [overseas Filipino workers] the modern-day heroes of the republic".

This was amid an investigation on Filipino household workers dying in that country.

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.

Duterte made a public statement on the matter, after announcing a ban on the deployment of workers, saying: "I implore you, I am making a plea to all Arabs, the Filipino is no slave to anyone, anywhere and everywhere". We do not intend to offend any government or anyone.

Bello yesterday said the deployment ban to that country would be effective immediately and would last until revoked.

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