Published: Thursday 17 May, 2018

Duterte Lifts OFW Deployment Ban to Kuwait Especially Domestic Workers

ALL types of OFWs can now go to Kuwait: On Tuesday, the Philippines partially lifted the OFW deployment ban to Kuwait. Today, Wednesday, May 16, President Duterte lifted the total ban of OFW deployment which now includes domestic workers!

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to lift the total ban on deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait days after announcing that the two countries have signed a deal to protect overseas Filipino workers in the Gulf state. Malacanang also announced that the relationship of Kuwait and the Philippines has returned to normal after a diplomatic row over the rescue of alleged distressed OFWs.

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“Upon recommendation of Special Envoy to Kuwait Abdullah Mama-o, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte tonight instructed Secretary Silvestre Bello to totally lift the ban on deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait,” said the announcement from Harry Roque, Presidential spokesman.

Duterte ordered the deployment ban in February after several OFWs, mostly domestic workers, reported abuses from their Kuwaiti employers. Some even died, like Joanna Demafelis whose body was found stuffed inside a freezer by her Lebanese and Syrian employers.

In April, the relationship of the two countries became worse after a viral video of Philippine embassy officials rescuing distressed OFWs became viral. Kuwait said the officials broke its sovereignty and expelled the Philippine ambassador. The gulf state also ordered the arrest of some embassy personnel and charged them with kidnapping.

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But, earlier this month, a team of envoys including Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Harry Roque went to Kuwait to finally sign a memorandum of agreement for the protection of OFWs.