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DOLE announces signing of final draft of Kuwait-PH agreement on OFW rights

by UNTV   |   Posted on Monday, March 19th, 2018

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III

 

MANILA, Philippines —  After a two-day meeting last week, the labor officials of the Philippines and Kuwait have agreed on the final draft of the bilateral agreement or the memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the protection of overseas Filipino workers (OFW).

Kuwait has also agreed on the provisions concerning the right of OFWs to keep their passports and on issues regarding their contract.

In a message,  Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said it is possible that within two weeks, Kuwait will be able to sign the MOU between the two countries.

However, Secretary Bello will still not recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte the lifting of the total deployment ban in the said Gulf state even if the MOU is signed.

The secretary said he gave two conditions for the lifting of the ban, one of which is the deliverance of justice over the death of Joanna Demafelis, the OFW who was killed and stored in a freezer.

The lifting of the ban can be reconsidered for the skilled workers but not for household service workers.

Meanwhile, some Japanese businessmen offered jobs to the labor department for the thousands of OFW repatriates from Kuwait.

“I had a meeting with some Japanese businessmen. They are targeting our repatriated overseas worker from Kuwait and they are offering jobs for their in-flight catering services. They are offering a good salary of $800. Initially, they are targeting 1,000 for a start,” said the labor chief.

Starting in May, Bello said DOLE will start deploying OFWs to Japan once contracts of the first batch of repatriates to be recruited are approved. — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

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Police nab illegal recruiters promising jobs in Japan

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, April 20th, 2018

Two illegal recruiters arrested by Criminal Investigation and Detection Group -Anti Transnational Crime Unit (CIDG-ATCU)

The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group -Anti Transnational Crime Unit (CIDG-ATCU) has arrested two illegal recruiters who prey on overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who want to work in Japan.

The suspects were identified as Levy Mangino, a resident of Pasay City, and Jeffrey Torres, a resident of Pagsanjan, Laguna.

CIDG ATCU CHIEF PSupt. Roque Merdegia Jr. the suspects amassed over a million pesos from more than 100 victims.

“Mahigit 100 ang nabiktima nila. Kung susumahin siguro ay more than a million pesos na ang natanggap nitong mga suspek mula sa maraming biktima,” Merdegia said.

(They’ve scammed almost 100 people. If you sum it up, they have collected more than a million pesos from various victims.)

One of the victims said he already gave the suspects a total of P49,000 supposedly to fund his visa, medical and Nihonggo training, aside from the processing fee the suspects demanded.

However, almost ten months had passed and nothing happened in their job applications. It was too late when they verified through Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) that the agency was unregistered and the suspects were facing multiple charges.

“Estafa at illegal recruitment cases ang kakaharapin ng dalawa at ito ay seryosong paglabag at wala itong kaukulang piyansa,” the official said.

(The two are facing estafa and illegal recruitment cases. These are serious violations and non-bailable.)

Authorities again remind job seekers not to easily give in to unverified job offers and always check with POEA for authorized recruitment agencies. — Lea Ylagan | UNTV News & Rescue

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DFA sends additional help for distressed OFWs in Kuwait

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, April 20th, 2018

Department of Foreign Affairs facade

The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait recently reported that they receive not less than five rescue requests each day.

Because of this, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has sent an augmentation team to rescue a number of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) seeking help in the Arab nation.

According to Director Raul Dado, head of the augmentation team, they have already rescued 30 OFWs with different employment issues since their arrival in Kuwait on April 7.

The rescue team admits there are complications in their conduct of rescue operations. This is because some OFWs need to transfer locations as they are victims of human trafficking.

Ohers are being held by employers who do not want to open communication with authorities. But the most challenging cases, according the team, are cases of missing OFWs.

Despite the Kuwaiti government’s extension of its amnesty program from February to April 22, many Filipinos still opt to gamble and stay in the Gulf state even without proper documents.

“Aming hinikayat, ginawa natin lahat ng paraan para makumbinsi sila ngunit ang sinasabi ng iba, gusto pa rin nila magpatuloy na magtrabaho ng part time kahit pinaalalahanan na pagkatapos ng amnesty, simula sa April 23 ay magkakaroon na malawakang crackdown,” Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Pedro Villa explained.

(We have done everything to convince them but some say they want to continue working part-time. This is despite warnings of a widespread crackdown after the amnesty ends on April 23.)

Based on embassy records, from around 10,000 OFWs without proper documents or expired visa, only around 5,500 have applied for amnesty and repatriation.

Since February this year, a total of 4,515 distressed workers have already been repatriated from Kuwait. — Sonny delos Reyes | UNTV News & Rescue

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Lost baggage items of OFW in NAIA under probe

by UNTV   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

MIAA General Manager Eddie Monreal assures investigation of alleged robbery committed against an  OFW.

MANILA, Philippines — An overseas Filipino worker (OFW) was allegedly robbed of valuable items from her luggage when she arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Office (NAIA) Terminal 3 last Saturday.

Laptop, perfumes, and chocolates were allegedly missing from her airline luggage.

Based on the complaint, the OFW flew from Hong Kong on board Cebu Pacific flight 5J113.

When she arrived at the terminal, she immediately discovered that her valuable items were missing from her bag.

She promptly informed the airline company of the incident.

In the released statement of Cebu Pacific, they are now coordinating with the ground handlers of Hong Kong International Airport to track where the items first went missing.

However, in the initial investigation of Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), the weight of the complainant’s luggage when she checked in was the same weight as when she checked out of the airport.

MIAA is currently looking into the case and who may be behind it . — Mai Bermudez | UNTV News & Rescue

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