Philippines to lift OFW ban to Kuwait in steps

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The Philippines is starting to lift the complete ban of deploying Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to Kuwait after the two countries reached an agreement on the regulation and protection of migrant workers, particularly household helpers, in the Gulf state.

In a first step, the Philippine government lifted the ban of sending skilled and semi-skilled workers to Kuwait, while the ban for domestic workers remains intact for now, according to presidential spokesman Harry Roque who held a news conference in Manila on May 15 on the issue.

He said that around 20,000 Filipino workers are expected to be deployed to Kuwait in the coming weeks, adding that the government is also considering the lifting of the deployment ban on domestic Filipino workers “soon.”

The labour agreement ensures that employers in Kuwait will provide food, housing, clothing and the registering of the domestic worker in the country’s health insurance system. It also provides one month’s salary to workers for every year of service rendered after the expiration of the work contract.

Other provisions of the deal include the creation of a 24/7 hotline through which OFWs can report potential abuses, and a special police unit to respond to such complaints.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al Hamad Al Sabah signed the agreement on May 11 in Kuwait.

The Gulf state is a major labour destination for Filipinos in the Middle East, with more than 250,000 OFWs currently working there, mostly as domestic helpers. However, recent incidents of abuses against them, some having resulted in deaths, prompted Manila to enforce a deployment ban earlier this year.

The diplomatic row deepened when Philippine embassy officials rescued distressed Filipino maids in Kuwait and posted a video of the rescue mission that went viral online. Kuwait was angered by the move and recalled its envoy in Manila.

Roque said both countries are now committed to “normalise” their ties following the diplomatic row.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Philippines is starting to lift the complete ban of deploying Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to Kuwait after the two countries reached an agreement on the regulation and protection of migrant workers, particularly household helpers, in the Gulf state.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Philippines is starting to lift the complete ban of deploying Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to Kuwait after the two countries reached an agreement on the regulation and protection of migrant workers, particularly household helpers, in the Gulf state.

In a first step, the Philippine government lifted the ban of sending skilled and semi-skilled workers to Kuwait, while the ban for domestic workers remains intact for now, according to presidential spokesman Harry Roque who held a news conference in Manila on May 15 on the issue.

He said that around 20,000 Filipino workers are expected to be deployed to Kuwait in the coming weeks, adding that the government is also considering the lifting of the deployment ban on domestic Filipino workers “soon.”

The labour agreement ensures that employers in Kuwait will provide food, housing, clothing and the registering of the domestic worker in the country’s health insurance system. It also provides one month’s salary to workers for every year of service rendered after the expiration of the work contract.

Other provisions of the deal include the creation of a 24/7 hotline through which OFWs can report potential abuses, and a special police unit to respond to such complaints.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al Hamad Al Sabah signed the agreement on May 11 in Kuwait.

The Gulf state is a major labour destination for Filipinos in the Middle East, with more than 250,000 OFWs currently working there, mostly as domestic helpers. However, recent incidents of abuses against them, some having resulted in deaths, prompted Manila to enforce a deployment ban earlier this year.

The diplomatic row deepened when Philippine embassy officials rescued distressed Filipino maids in Kuwait and posted a video of the rescue mission that went viral online. Kuwait was angered by the move and recalled its envoy in Manila.

Roque said both countries are now committed to “normalise” their ties following the diplomatic row.

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