Bello signs memorandum on partial deployment ban to Kuwait
Aileen Cerrudo • January 3, 2020 • 1085
The Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III signed a memorandum partially banning deployment of domestic workers to Kuwait.
This was after the death of Jeanelyn Padernal Villavende who was allegedly beaten to death by her employer in December.
Based on the memorandum, first-time domestic workers will be banned from being deployed to Kuwait while skilled and vacationing workers will not be covered by the ban.
“With the recent reported cases of maltreatment and deaths involving OFWs in Kuwait, you are hereby instructed to immediately convene the Governing Board for the immediate issuance of a deployment ban involving Visa 20 (domestic workers) new hires and balik-manggagawa,” the memorandum reads.
According to Bello, the partial ban will also cover former domestic workers.
“Kasi kung balik-manggagawa (If you are a balik-manggagawa), you still have an existing employment and you just went home for a vacation and you will go back to your employment. You are not covered. But if you are a former household worker, and you would like to go back for another employment, covered ka sa ban,” he said.
Recruitment agencies are also required to reimburse all the expenses of the Oversease Filipino Workers (OFW) affected by the ban.
The governing body of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), who are tasked to form a resolution to implement the partial deployment ban, already held a meeting on Friday (January 3).
Meanwhile, during their meeting about the rights of OFWs in Kuwait, Kuwaiti Ambassador Musaed Saleh Ahmad Althwaikh had asked the Labor Secretary to postpone the partial ban.
Bello reiterated they will push through with the partial ban however, there will be a possible lifting of the partial ban if the employers of Villavende will be accused.
“We might consider lifting. We might. Hindi ko pa sinasabi na we will. Kung filan nila ng physical injuries, hindi naman, (Am not saying that we will. If they will file charges due to physical injuries then we might not),” he said.
Bello reiterated that until the Kuwaiti government has not set an action to bring justice to the death of the Villavende, they will continue to implement the partial ban to Kuwait.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)
More than 30,000 college students who are dependents of repatriated, displaced, and deceased overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) will benefit from the government’s P1 billion education subsidy, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III signed a memorandum of agreement to launch “Tabang OFW”. The program aims to provide a one-time financial assistance of P30,000 to one college-level dependent of a repatriated, displaced, or deceased OFW.
Bello said the program is just one of the government’s ways of reciprocating the sacrifices of overseas Filipinos.
“We hope this will go a long way in helping our OFWs and their children in these most challenging times. By doing this, we also hope we can partly repay our modern-day heroes,” he said.
Under the agreement the Labor Department shall issue orders, circulars or guidelines that will spell out the effective and efficient implementation of the program while the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) will release the funds amounting to P1 billion to DOLE for its implementation.
The Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) will assist DOLE on the promotion and other information dissemination activities of the program. AAC
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said it has sought the assistance of national Coast Guards from China, South Korea and Taiwan to help locate the Filipino crew men of the livestock cargo vessel that sank off south-western Japan.
In a meeting on Thursday (September 25), Bello assured the kin of missing seafarers that the government is doing its best to find the answers as to what happened to their loved ones.
“I know you’re in a very difficult situation, but there’s hope,” Bello told wives, siblings and parents of the missing seafarers.
Prior to this, the Japanese Coast guard, which found three Filipino mariners—two survivors and one fatality—announced that it has stopped its special operations for the remaining crew —36 Filipinos, two Australians and two New Zealanders–of the ill-fated MV Gulf Livestock 1.
“So don’t give up on your loved ones because there’s really hope. Three foreign governments are helping us find them,” Bello, who requested the assistance abroad, said
Huang Xilian, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China, said China has already commenced rescue operations.
The Chinese government announced, however, that they have not found any sign of the missing seafarers during their rescue operations on September 19 and 20.
Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Ambassador Peiyung Hsu told Belo his request was immediately conveyed to the Taiwan Coast Guard (TCG).
“Rest assured that your good office will be kept posted on any findings or developments of the said operations,” he said.
Meanwhile, South Korean Ambassador Han Dong-Man in response to Bello’s request said he has already forwarded the endorsement to their Ministry of Foreign Affairs for proper action.
“I am hoping that our government’s participation in any search and rescue operation that may be conducted will shed light on the status of the missing crew,” the official added.
Given these developments, families of the missing mariners thanked Bello for giving them hope. Each family of the victims present during the meeting was given financial assistance by DOLE through the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
Filipino workers want more secure bike lanes and parking, based on the recent survey of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
“Majority of the workers are in favor of having more bike lanes on paved roads, bike paths, and more secured bike parking,” the Labor Department said in a statement.
Respondents also said feeling unsafe is what prevents them from using the bike as transportation. They do not feel safe traveling due to poor road conditions as well as lack of secured bike parking areas.
DOLE conducted the survey in line with their Bike-to-Work Project, which aims to assist workers in this time of pandemic by providing bicycles as a transport option or a livelihood opportunity.
The survey yielded a total of 1,119 respondents, with the majority of them coming from the National Capital Region (NCR).
“The preliminary results of the research, which was carried out at the onset of the relaxing of community quarantine in Metro Manila and other parts of the country, were presented to DOLE Senior officials to discuss possible projects and policy recommendations,” DOLE said. -AAC
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