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DOLE to allow OFWs return only after Kuwait signs bilateral agreement

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) returning to Kuwait will only be allowed to depart after the Kuwaiti government has signed the bilateral agreement with the Philippines.

Bello said that the agreement will provide for a just and sufficient protection for Filipino workers in Kuwait.

“An example is the passport of our OFWs. They or the labor attache should have possession of their passports while they are deployed there. It should not be in the possession of their employers because once their employers got hold of it, they could easily exploit our workers,” said the official. — UNTV News & Rescue

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POEA to blacklist Kuwaiti beauty blogger over ‘racist’ remarks

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, July 26th, 2018

 

 

Kuwaiti beauty blogger Sondos Alqattan (Image taken from Instagram @sondos_aq)

 

Kuwaiti social media star and beauty blogger Sondos Alqattan went viral on social media for her racist remarks on Filipino migrant workers for having a regular day-off and employer ’s non-confiscation of household workers’ passports.

Her remarks sparked outrage not only from Filipinos and foreign nationals but also among her fellow Kuwaiti citizens.

Due to this, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) is studying to blacklist Alqattan.

“Titingan natin dito na hindi na siya magbe-benefit doon sa ating deployment process, madi-disqualify siya to apply for a deployment of a Filipino worker dahil ayaw niyang sumunod,” said POEA Usec. Bernard Olalia.

Olalia emphasized that the labor agreement between the Philippines and Kuwait is clear-cut to protect the rights and ensure the safety of the overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in Kuwait.

This includes rest day, right to keep their documents such as passports and the right accommodation and food among others.

“Ito ay mandatory. Hindi ito directory. Hindi recommendatory at nobody can even question that, not even any foreign employers and entities. That is our law and they should respect that,” said Olalia.

POEA has warned foreign nationals of blacklisting those who will disregard the labor agreement signed by the Philippines and their countries.

Meanwhile, the group Migrante Internacional has urged for the public apology of the Kuwaiti media star over her controversial comments.

“Humihingi kami sa kanya ng public apology. Humihingi ka sa kanya ng pagre-reverse ng kanyang mga statement at hinahamon namin siya na kilalanin at alamin ang kalagayan ng mga domestic helper para malaman niya kung bakit sila nagta-trabaho doon at bakit kailangan nila ng sapat na pahinga. Bakit nila kailangan ng sapat na kompensasyon at bakit sila dapat na ituring na tao,” said Migrante Internacional spokesperson Arman Hernando.

Several companies reportedly canceled their endorsement deals with Alqattan following the issue.

A London-based cosmetic brand said they have decided to remove the videos of Alqattan from their social media channels.

In a new video post, Alqattan has refused to issue a public apology for her comments.

She defended that she has no regrets over her statements against Filipino domestic helpers.

Alqattan has over two million followers on her social media accounts and known for her makeup tutorial videos. — UNTV News & Rescue

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More OFWs in Kuwait register for 2019 polls

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

Overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in Kuwait register for the overseas absentee voting program.

 

KUWAIT – The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait is pleased to announce that it has surpassed its target of overseas absentee voting (OAV) registration by almost 50 percent.

The Embassy said there are more or less 260,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in Kuwait. To date, they already have registered more than 42,000 overseas voters.

 Actually, ang target natin mula noong December 2016 hanggang 2018 ay 28,834. From that date up to the present, ang registered na is 42,596 so na-reach na natin ang target natin,” said Charge d’ Affair, a.i. Mohd. Noordin P.N. Lomondot.

In 2016, around 49,000 OFWs in Kuwait voted in the presidential elections. Lomondot is confident that the voter’s turn out in the 2019 midterm polls will be higher among OFWs in the Gulf State.

The Embassy is continuously encouraging Filipinos in Kuwait who were not able to vote in the past two consecutive elections to reactivate their registration to be able to join the elections next year.

The last day of the overseas registration is on September 30, 2018.

Overseas registration hits 1.6 million mark – DFA

Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs- Overseas Voting Secretariat is confident that before the deadline, the agency will be able to register around 1.9 million potential overseas voters in the upcoming 2019 midterm elections.

As of May 2018, the agency has registered more than 1.6 million Filipino voters in different countries, already surpassing the previous record of 1.376 million absentee voters for to the 2016 Presidential Elections. – Sonny Delos Reyes / Marje Pelayo

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SONA2018: On OFW Welfare

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, July 23rd, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Overseas Filipino Workers

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) boasts of its accomplishments in support of the welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers.

Among these accomplishments are the following:

• The administration’s One-Stop Shop Service Centers have served a total of 1.22 million OFWs to date.

• The OFW Bank has been created to respond to the financial needs of Filipino migrants and their families.

• The iDOLE OFW ID Card has been implemented which also serves as OFWs Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC)

• Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) set up programs, under which, OFWs could apply for loans to start business in food production and livelihood and entrepreneurship training courses and seminars for returning OFWs

• Department of Education (DepEd) implements DOLE-initiated program called “Sa Pinas Ma’am at Sir Ka” where teachers working abroad are encouraged to come back

• The Duterte has signed Republic Act No. 11035 or the Balik Scientists Law that seeks to provide incentives to Filipino scientists to encourage them to return home.

 

PH-Kuwait sign the “Agreement on the Employment of Domestic Workers between the Philippines and Kuwait”

Foreigns Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano met with Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al Hamad Al Sabah on May 11, 2018 for the signing of a milestone agreement between the Philippine and Kuwait.

Among the highlights of the memorandum of understanding include specific provisions to ensure the protection of rights, welfare, and well-being of Filipino household workers in Kuwait.

The agreement ensures that the recruitment and employment of an OFW is bound by standard contract.

The contract shall allow them to possess his/her passport and other pertinent documents; the employer’s obligation to open a bank account of the worker; the provision that provides the worker food, housing, clothing and health insurance; the worker’s free use of cellphones; and the employer’s enforcement of the agreed wage in the contract, among others.

The agreement also prompted the creation of a special police hotline, where workers can immediately contact or ask assistance from in case of abuse and emergencies.

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