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Kuwait gov’t questions PH Embassy’s rescue efforts for distressed OFWs

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, April 23rd, 2018

 Philippines Embassy in Kuwait

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano has confirmed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kuwait recently summoned Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Pedro Villa.

The Kuwaiti government, according to Cayetano, wanted to make sure that the efforts of the Philippine diplomatic staff to rescue distressed Filipino workers in the Gulf state are in accordance with the Kuwaiti law and that the Philippines is not abusing its labor system.

Cayetano said there is an urgent need to rescue all distressed OFWs in Kuwait due to incidents of serious abuses and threats. He made sure his department is moving in coordination with the Kuwaiti authorities.

“Kasi these are cases na may grave danger at pwedeng life or death ang pinag-uusapan sa OFW… kapag hinintay mo ang normal process, may katagalan,” Cayetano explained.

(There are cases that involve grave danger and potentially life threatening for the OFW…if you wait for the normal process, it will take time.)

Nevertheless, the secretary believes the misunderstanding between the two countries will soon be settled.

We will do our best to clarify all of these and to assure our friendship with the Kuwait government and that our people there are safe. In the same manner that we’re assuring them na ang (that their) national state nila dito sa Pilipinas (in the Philippines) will be kept safe and will be protected,” he said.

Cayetano also stressed the importance of listening to the concerns of the Kuwaiti government before signing the bilateral agreement between the Philippines and Kuwait and also before lifting the total ban on employment of OFWs in the Gulf state.

Cayetano will meet with Ambassador Villa to further verify the situation of OFWs in Kuwait in connection with the issue. – Asher Cadapan Jr. | UNTV News & Rescue

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109 undocumented OFWs return home from Dubai

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, September 20th, 2018

Undocumented OFWs who availed the amnesty program of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Department of Foreign Affairs

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday brought home 109 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Dubai.

The agency has now repatriated a total of 838 OFWs since the amnesty program began in August.

The Office of Migrant Workers Affairs shouldered airline tickets, exit fines and other penalties of the returning OFWs.

Each of the repatriates were given financial assistance of P5,000 as part of the government’s “all-out support” for the returning OFWs.

“Your presence here today demonstrates the kind of care and compassion President Duterte has for our overseas workers,” Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Sarah Lou Y. Arriola said

She also reminded all Filipinos who are seeking employment overseas to make sure that they go through the proper application process and follow the rules and regulations of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

Undocumented Filipinos who wish to return to the Philippines under this program will be assisted by the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai and the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes encouraged qualified Filipinos to take advantage of the UAE’s amnesty program before the 31 October 2018 deadline, to give the Embassy and the Consulate General ample time to process the necessary documents.

(Source: DFA)

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Italian firefighters rescue person from suspended car after Genoa bridge collapse

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

Fire brigade retrieving a body from suspended car | Reuters

 

Italian firefighters carried out a dramatic rescue on Tuesday (August 14) retrieving a person who had been caught in the mangled ruins of his car suspended in the air after the collapse of motorway bridge in Genoa, Italy.

Video released by the fire brigade showed a fireman working to retrieve the person from ropes hanging next to the car caught in the wreckage.

Firefighters searched into the night for survivors and bodies amid the rubble of the collapsed bridge which so far has led to the deaths of at least 26. -Reuters

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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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