World

Dead Filipina found in Kuwait triggers total workers ban

Dead Filipina found in Kuwait triggers total workers ban

80 per cent of these, around 8,000 are domestic workers.

Silvestre Bello III told Reuters the number was as of Friday after Duterte broadcast graphic photos of the body of a Filipino maid found in a freezer in an abandoned Kuwait apartment.

The first task force, headed by Labour Undersecretary Dominado Say, was tasked to handle the repatriation of OFWs pursuant to the directive of the president to repatriate them within 72 hours.

"I am appealing to the government, help us seek justice for my daughter's death", Eva Demafelis, mother of Joanna Daniela Demafelis, told ABS CBN network after she, her husband, and children arrived in Manila from their hometown in Iloilo, central Philippines on Saturday.

It's the latest case to draw the anger of populist Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who in January complained that cases of abuse reported by Filipina domestic workers "always" seem to be coming from Kuwait.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, who co-chairs the Government Cluster on Overseas Filipino Workers with Bello, said the DFA and DOLE are also coordinating with other government agencies in taking steps to strictly implement the ban on the deployment of new workers to the Gulf state.

The BusinessMirror earlier reported that some 25,000 household service workers were also left stranded in the country because of the ban.

"We will also go after illegal recruiters, human traffickers and other modern-day slave traders who continue to victimize our people".

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As many as 10,000 Filipino workers in Kuwait are expected to take up the Philippines government's offer of a free flight home after the body of their compatriot was found stuffed in a freezer.

About 10 million, or a tenth of the country's population, live and work overseas, making the Filipino diaspora one of the largest in Asia. More than 2,200 had received travel documents so far."They will return bringing with them virtually nothing but sad stories of how their dreams for a better life for their loved ones got shattered by exploitation and abuse".

Aside from shouldering the cost of the airfare, the Philippine government shall also settle the immigration penalties of overstaying Filipinos.

He emphasized that Kuwait was obligated under worldwide law to compensate victims of what the Philippines considered "horrendous crimes".

OWWA added that more than 800 undocumented Filipino workers in Kuwait were scheduled to come home.

'We are particularly keen on finding alternative employment in countries such as Oman and Bahrain, both of which are signatories to the relevant International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention that protects migrant workers, Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr said in a news briefing yesterday.

The Kuwaiti government has yet to comment on the Philippines' total OFW deployment ban to their country.


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