Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

President orders total ban on OFW deployment to Kuwait

President orders total ban on OFW deployment to Kuwait

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday pledged government help to evacuate Filipinos wanting to leave Kuwait, blasting the Gulf state for "inhuman" treatment of migrant workers after reports of a gruesome killing in the country.

He also explained that the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to bring home OFWs within 72 hours only covers workers who would like to come home, distressed workers and the 2,000 who applied for amnesty.

"The Filipino is no slave to anyone, anywhere, and everywhere", Duterte said.

Cebu Pacific on Saturday said it would send one of its planes to Kuwait to fly overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) there who want to return to the Philippines.

Just yesterday, the President fumed at the Kuwaiti government over the death of Joanna Daniela Dimapilis, a Filipino domestic helper whose body was found inside a freezer in an apartment which was abandoned for more than a year.

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Duterte then went on to scold the rulers of the Gulf state where some 250,000 Filipinos are based.

"P*****, hindi ko na ito kaya (I can't take it anymore). Either give me the space to air my sentiment or if I can not give the Filipino the face of a brutal victim, then I will resign", Duterte said. We did not fail you. "I implore you", he added. "I will not keep silent and I will really confront you", he added.

"Cebu Pacific will be mounting a special flight to Kuwait to assist our kababayans who wish to be repatriated to the Philippines", the airline said in a statement. "I want them out of the country those who want to go out in 72 hours", the President said. O how come my countrymen are now suffering brutality, cruelty, and death?

'How many Filipino teachers, nurses, and other skilled workers are forced to downgrade their skills and degrade their persons by working as service people, a deodorized term for maids and servants?' he asked. The latest data from Philippine Overseas Employment Administration said there were 86,019 Filipinos in the country in 2015.

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.

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"Every unlawful physical injury inflicted on an OFW is an affront against us as a sovereign nation", he said.

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"Do not give us back a battered worker or a mutilated corpse".

"The women can also become welders".

"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.

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"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.

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