Filipinos banned from working in Kuwait, over 2,000 desperate to go home

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The Philippine government on February 12 signed an administrative order to completely ban the deployment of Oversea Filipino Workers (OFWs) to Kuwait, according to Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello III. The ban covers all Filipino workers, including new hires and returning OFWs

“In pursuit of national interest, a total ban on deployment of all OFWs to Kuwait pursuant to the directive of the President is hereby enforced. The order takes effect immediately,” Bello said in a media briefing.

The move follows a remarks by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte last week that he wants the ban to send “a strong message” to the Gulf state after reports of domestic abuse and even suicides of distraught OFWs came to light. The government’s foreign labour office already temporarily stopped deploying OFWs to Kuwait on January 19 for that reason.

Duterte now said that the suspension would remain indefinitely. Filipinos on valid labour contracts can stay in the country.

Latest news were that authorities in Kuwait discovered the body of a Filipina inside the freezer of her employers in Kuwait. The woman’s body bore torture marks and indications that she was strangled to death. There are also investigations into seven Filipino household workers killed in Kuwait and countless reports on sexual abuse of Philippine maids by their male employers.

The Philippines presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the Philippine government will “hold Kuwait responsible for the horrendous crimes under state responsibility.”

Meanwhile, around 2,200 OFWs in Kuwait have opted for a voluntary repatriation programme offered by President Duterte who asked Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific to provide free flights for Filipinos who want to leave Kuwait. More than 400 OFWs were already brought back home on February 12, and 400 more will arrive later this week.

Kuwait’s Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled AL Jarallah expressed “surprise and sorrow” at Duterte’s decision, saying that legal proceedings had been taken in the reported cases.

According to varying estimations, Kuwait is home to more than 250,000 Filipino expatriates, the third-largest in the Gulf region after the UAE and Saudi Arabia which makes the Arab country an important source of remittances for the Philippine economy. However, around 80,000 OFWs are said to have overstayed their visa which makes them technically illegal and rightless in case any problems with their employers arise.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Philippine government on February 12 signed an administrative order to completely ban the deployment of Oversea Filipino Workers (OFWs) to Kuwait, according to Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello III. The ban covers all Filipino workers, including new hires and returning OFWs

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Philippine government on February 12 signed an administrative order to completely ban the deployment of Oversea Filipino Workers (OFWs) to Kuwait, according to Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello III. The ban covers all Filipino workers, including new hires and returning OFWs

“In pursuit of national interest, a total ban on deployment of all OFWs to Kuwait pursuant to the directive of the President is hereby enforced. The order takes effect immediately,” Bello said in a media briefing.

The move follows a remarks by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte last week that he wants the ban to send “a strong message” to the Gulf state after reports of domestic abuse and even suicides of distraught OFWs came to light. The government’s foreign labour office already temporarily stopped deploying OFWs to Kuwait on January 19 for that reason.

Duterte now said that the suspension would remain indefinitely. Filipinos on valid labour contracts can stay in the country.

Latest news were that authorities in Kuwait discovered the body of a Filipina inside the freezer of her employers in Kuwait. The woman’s body bore torture marks and indications that she was strangled to death. There are also investigations into seven Filipino household workers killed in Kuwait and countless reports on sexual abuse of Philippine maids by their male employers.

The Philippines presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the Philippine government will “hold Kuwait responsible for the horrendous crimes under state responsibility.”

Meanwhile, around 2,200 OFWs in Kuwait have opted for a voluntary repatriation programme offered by President Duterte who asked Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific to provide free flights for Filipinos who want to leave Kuwait. More than 400 OFWs were already brought back home on February 12, and 400 more will arrive later this week.

Kuwait’s Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled AL Jarallah expressed “surprise and sorrow” at Duterte’s decision, saying that legal proceedings had been taken in the reported cases.

According to varying estimations, Kuwait is home to more than 250,000 Filipino expatriates, the third-largest in the Gulf region after the UAE and Saudi Arabia which makes the Arab country an important source of remittances for the Philippine economy. However, around 80,000 OFWs are said to have overstayed their visa which makes them technically illegal and rightless in case any problems with their employers arise.

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