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

by UNTV News   |   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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Filipino workers in high demand in Kuwait

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 26th, 2018


Overseas Filipino workers arrive home from the Middle East (PHOTOVILLE International)

KUWAIT – The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait reported the overwhelming increase in the number of job orders from Kuwaiti employers for overseas Filipino workers in the Gulf State.

This, after President Rodrigo Duterte lifted the total deployment ban on Filipino workers to Kuwait and finally signed a labor agreement ensuring the protection of OFWs.

“Hindi po bumababa sa 40 hanggang 50 na mga bagong employer ang nagsasadya sa embahada, dito po sa POLO, upang magpa-proseso ng kanilang mga dokumento,” attested Labor Attache Resty Dela Fuente.

Dela Fuente said they have been very strict when it comes to the screening of job order applications in consideration with the provisions set in the labor agreement on the security and safety of Filipino workers, especially the household helpers.

The agreement states that Kuwaiti employers shall allow Filipino domestic helpers to have enough resting hours, possess cellphones, enjoy holidays and rest days, and keep their passports with them.

However, Dela Fuente clarified that the two governments are still discussing and finalizing some more details in order to expedite the processing of applications of Filipino workers to the Gulf State.

“Talagang nagkakaroon ng mga kaunting mga adjustment pa. Nagiging bukas bawat isa. Sinasabi sa ating ng mga employer, sinasabi rin ng kanilang pamahalaan kung ano yung dapat pang i-improve,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) directed Foreign Recruitment Agencies (FRAs) to observe proper recruitment guidelines in accepting applications for Filipino household service workers.

“Para din po yun sa safety ng mga manggagawa ay ma-secure natin lalong lalo na po yung household service workers na kababaihan, alam na po natin nasa Muslim country kaya dapat may proteksyon…dapat isama na rin more training at wag po i-deploy ang hindi po nakapag-training,” said Ana Del Mundo, vice chair of the Philippine Society of Marketing Specialist Kuwait.

Despite the positive developments, Del Mundo said it is still necessary for the Philippine government to send an ambassador who will maneuver the actions of the embassy in further protecting the Filipinos in Kuwait.

“Ang role ng isang ambassador ay isang ama ng lahat ng Filipino dito… Hindi ba po mas effective ang isang tahanan kung may ama dahil siya ang guide? Siya ang navigator,” concluded Del Mundo.

The Philippine-Kuwait labor agreement on OFW protection suffered intense setbacks following a diplomatic row between the two governments over a controversial rescue mission of some distressed OFWs.

President Duterte has not yet appointed a new ambassador to Kuwait after the latter declared former Ambassador Renato Pedro Villa a persona non grata in line with the controversy. – Mylene Soriano / Marje Pelayo

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POLO-Kuwait resumes accepting DH applications but with additional requirement

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 5th, 2018

Philippine Embassy in Kuwait


KUWAIT – The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Kuwait has resumed accepting applications for household service workers in the Gulf State on Monday, June 4.

“Beginning today 4th of June 2018 our Labor Office or POLO will start accepting deployment documents of domestic worker visa 20 workers for processing,” said Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Mohd. Noordin Pendosina N. Lomondot in an interview Monday at the POLO office in Al-Siddeeq, Kuwait.

Lomondot said they already received from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) in Manila the guidelines on the resumption of the deployment of domestic workers to the Gulf State following the implementation of Administrative Order 254-a signed by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III which officially lifted the deployment ban on domestic helpers to Kuwait.

The POEA guidelines are in accordance with the agreement on employment of domestic workers signed by the two countries on May 11, 2018. According to the guideline, a household service worker applicant should pass training from a POEA-accredited institution and should undergo orientation on the law, customs, and traditions of Kuwait.

One new and important addition to the guidelines is the capacity of the employer to pay the proper amount of compensation.

“May isang requirement na nadagdag. Iyan iyong employer’s proof of capacity to pay salary of the domestic worker. We will be meeting all the recruitment agencies so we could agree on what kind of proof they will be requiring (from the employer,)” said Labor Attaché Resty Dela Fuente.

He added that the Philippine Recruitment Agencies (PRA) were directed to adhere to the POEA guidelines and help the government in its implementation.

The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait also expects more personnel to efficiently assist all 260,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the State of Kuwait wherein around 150,000 of the said number work as household service workers.

Meanwhile, Lomondot conveyed the Kuwaiti government’s appreciation of the positive developments in its labor cooperation and diplomatic relations with the Philippines.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait through the office of the Deputy Foreign Minister expressed appreciation of this new development which is considered a good step for the two countries to move forward and re-strengthen their friendly bilateral relationship,” he said.

The Philippine Embassy and Kuwait’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs are constantly holding joint meetings to further discuss the provisions and the implementation of the signed memorandum of understanding. – Mylene Soriano / Marje Pelayo

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Duterte thanks Kuwait, says ‘We’re okay now’

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018


President Rodrigo Duterte


MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte was pleased to announce that the Philippines’ is “okay now with Kuwait.”

This, after a controversial rescue mission of distressed Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) in the Gulf State induced an unwanted episode in the two countries’ diplomatic relations.

The President thanked the Kuwaiti government for signing the labor agreement on the protection of OFWs in their country.

“I’d like to thank officially the Kuwait government for giving us these conditions, which would better place in a more —  maski konting kaligayahan lang naman sa mga OFWs (at least provide a little happiness to OFWs),” the President said during the Philippine Navy’s 120th anniversary on Tuesday, May 22.

Mr. Duterte expressed appreciation to Kuwait for granting several conditions he set for the protection of OFWs which include a day off once a week.

The signing of the agreement prompted the President to order the total lifting of deployment ban of OFWs to Kuwait. – Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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