Philippines Bans Deployment of New Filipino Workers to Kuwait

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Kuwait authorities are looking to resolve the issue with the Filipino government and with Interpol on the case.

"We condemn the statements of the Philippine president, especially since we are in contact with the Philippines at the highest level to fully explain the state of the Filipino workforce in Kuwait", he said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said the government is not forcing all OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) to go back to the Philippines, following the reported Kuwaiti employers' abuses against their Filipino helpers.

"Under worldwide law, Kuwait has the obligation to provide justice for our countrymen", he said.

Kuwait's embassy in Manila declined to comment.

"(Regarding new recruits), that has to be clarified in the order to be issued by the Secretary on Monday", Francia said.

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"A communication was sent to our welfare officers in Kuwait, and there was a follow-up email on March 17, 2017, and what happened thereafter is that our welfare officers ascertained the existence of the Kuwaiti agency", Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) administrator Hans Cacdac told CNN Philippines' News Night on Monday.

"They will be repatriated in batches from February 11 to 13", said Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola, adding she was implementing Duterte's order to assist all OFWs who want to return to the Philippines.

"Our efforts to protect our (countrymen) will not end with the imposition of deployment bans or the repatriation of our workers in countries where they are prone to maltreatment", Cayetano said.

Police who served an eviction notice at an apartment in Kuwait's Al-Shaab district stumbled on a grisly discovery - the remains of missing Filipina maid Joanna Daniela Demafelis stuffed inside a freezer.

Meanwhile, the Philippines on Monday will announce a total ban on the deployment of OFWs to Kuwait, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Sunday.

The BusinessMirror earlier reported that some 25,000 household service workers were also left stranded in the country because of the ban. They are among over 2 million employed in the region, whose remittances are a lifeline to the Philippine economy.

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Demafelis had been tortured and later strangled to death, an autopsy revealed.

He said the country was also looking at alternative markets like Russian Federation and China. "It is totally, totally unacceptable to me", Duterte said.

"I could not stomach this".

"But a total ban is not the solution".

The Philippines and China may sign a bilateral agreement on the deployment of OFWs "within the month or next month", Bello 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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