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More OFWs seek help despite progress in Kuwait-PHL talks

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

REPATRIATED WORKERS: On March 12, another batch of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) from Kuwait arrived in the Philippines.

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has reported a good progress in the discussion of bilateral agreement between the Kuwaiti and Philippine governments regarding overseas Filipino workers’ (OFW) protection.

According to DFA, Kuwait has already approved of the minimum monthly salary of 120 Kuwaiti dinars to Filipino domestic helpers; rest hours of not less than eight hours of sleep in a day; right to keep passports and mobile phones in OFWs’ possession; and limiting work to one household.

But DFA clarified that these are not enough reasons for the Philippines to retract the total deployment ban of OFW to Kuwait.

Aside from not yet having a signed agreement for it, the Gulf state still needs to agree with other conditions that will protect Filipinos against exploitation and abuse.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano also urged direct deposit of salary to the bank account of the Filipino workers and to create a mechanism where an OFW may directly file a complaint to the Kuwaiti authorities.

Meanwhile, another batch of overseas Filipino workers from Kuwait arrived in the Philippines on Monday.

Most of them had bad experiences working in the Gulf state including abuse from their employers.

Based on records of the foreign affairs department, the number of OFWs who were sent back to the Philippines since February of this year has now reached 3,200.

But according to Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), OFWs keep coming to the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait in the hope of flying back home to the Philippines.

As of this time, the number of OFWs being sheltered in the Philippine Embassy and waiting to be sent home to the Philippines has reached to more than a thousand.

 

“Kumukuha po tayong dagdag na tirahan sa kanila, para po lahat ng mga magpupunta po sa POLO-OWWA ay atin pong ma-accommodate sa shelter,” said OWWA Deputy administrator for operations Atty. Brigido Dulay.

(We are getting additional shelters for those who will go to POLO-OWWA so we can accommodate them.) — Asher Cadapan Jr. | 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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