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Kuwaiti government vows to track and arrest OFW Joanna Demafelis’ murderers

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, February 15th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — At three in the afternoon local time in Kuwait, the remains of Joanna Demafelis was flown back to the Philippines.

The cadaver of the overseas Filipino worker (OFW) will arrive in Manila on Friday and will be sent home to her family in Iloilo on Saturday.

Demafelis was the Filipino migrant worker found dead in a freezer at an abandoned apartment in Kuwait.

On Wednesday, Philippine ambassador to Kuwait, Rene Villa, visited the Al-Sabah Hospital to ensure that the lifeless body of the Filipina had been prepared.

According to Ambassador Villa, the officials of the Ministry of Interior of Kuwait vowed to do all it can to capture the murder suspects,  a Lebanese national and his Syrian wife — former employers of Demafelis.

“Na-shock din ang buong Kuwait sa krimeng ito at matindi ang galit nila sa nangyaring ito at sana nga ay mahuli na, sa Lebanon man o sa Syria ang mag-asawang ito,” said Villa.

(The whole country of Kuwait was also shocked after learning about the crime. They are angry with what happened. We are hoping for the immediate arrest of the suspects whether in Lebanon or in Syria.)

In the Philippines, the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) is seeking the conduct of an investigation into alleged negligence by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) in connection with the death of the Filipina migrant worker.

According to one of VACC’s lawyers, Atty. Manuelito Luna, the family of the murdered OFW had sought the group’s help.

Luna revealed that the family had been seeking help from the POEA and OWWA since 2016 due to the abuse being experienced by Joanna in the hands of her employers.

But he claims the two government agencies had ignored the complaints of Joanna’s family.

“Pwede nating maligtas si Ms. Demafelis. Hindi nailigtas dahil pinasa pasa yung complaint ng pamilya. Kung ganito po ang treatment ng ating mga opsiyales sa POEA or OWWA dapat magbalot balot na sila,” said Luna.

(We could have saved Ms. Demafelis.  She was not rescued because these two agencies kept passing her family’s complaint onto someone else time and time again. If this is the quality of treatment being given by our POEA or OWWA officials, they should start packing.)

The group has asked the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to investigate the issue. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

 

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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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PHL totally lifts OFW deployment ban to Kuwait

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, May 17th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Overseas Filipino workers

 

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, May 16, directed Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to totally lift the deployment ban of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Kuwait.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the directive was in line with the recommendation of Special Envoy to Kuwait Abdullah Mama-o.

In a text message to UNTV, the Labor Secretary confirmed that he received the order from the President though he did not give further details.

Last week, the Philippine government ordered the partial lifting of the ban on skilled and semi-skilled workers to Kuwait following the signing of the agreement on the protection of Filipino workers in the Gulf State. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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