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Duterte Says Ban On Deployment Of Filipino Workers To Kuwait Stays
11 February 2018, 01:11 | Darnell Patrick
Furious Duterte upholds OFW ban to Kuwait, says the Filipino is 'no slave'
Ejercito also urged the Philippine government to review policies concerning the deployment of OFWs since Kuwait "has not yet signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) created to protect Filipino migrant workers" in their country.
It said it was coordinating with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), following the decision, and that it will submit its recommendations to the government to improve the plight of Filipino workers in Kuwait and also to protect them from human trafficking.
He decried the recent abuse and maltreatment against Filipino workers in the gulf state.
Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello said that for Duterte's ban to be lifted, Kuwait must sign a "memorandum of understanding" boosting protection for Filipino workers that had been pending for three years.
"Cebu Pacific will be mounting a special flight to Kuwait to assist our kababayans who wish to be repatriated to the Philippines", it said in a statement. We did not fail you.
At the same time, Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola of the Department of Foreign Affairs reported that 800 "undocumented" OFWs in Kuwait have signified their intention to be repatriated to the Philippines.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said he recommended to Duterte to continue with the suspension of the processing and issuance of new Overseas Employment Certificates (OECs) until they have discovered or determined the true causes of the death of seven OFWs in December, 2017 and January, 2018.
"Every unlawful physical injury inflicted on an OFW is an affront against us as a sovereign nation", he said.
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He added that the officials spoke about inter-Korean relations under a "friendly atmosphere" at the Presidential Blue House. North Korean state media said Thursday there was no intention on the North Korean side for such talks to take place.
Some 300 Filipinos continue to apply for work in Kuwait every day.
He has repeatedly expressed anger about alleged abuse in Kuwait, where he said low-paid Filipinos were made to endure rape and starvation.
Villar said there were many job opportunities in the country.
"We are advocating for unity among all recruitment agencies and their adherence to a common standard of best and responsible practices throughout the industry", she said. How come my countrymen are now suffering brutality, cruelty, and death?
"We value our foreign relations with the people of Kuwait but we can not stand idly by as our [countrymen] suffer from inhumane treatment", he said.
Angara called on the government to ensure jobs and livelihood assistance for returning OFWs from Kuwait. "Our [countrymen] do not deserve this kind of inhumane treatment", he said.
Even the Philippine Association of Accredited Agencies to Kuwait (PHILAAK) backed the President's decision.
The new Overseas Workers Welfare Administration law or Republic Act 10801 provides financial assistance for OFWs who have lost their jobs or those who have chose to return to the Philippines.
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