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PHL Embassy in Kuwait reminds undocumented workers of amnesty program deadline on Feb 22

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, February 9th, 2018

Illegal or undocumented workers in Kuwait have until February 22 to take advantage of the amnesty program that the Kuwaiti government is offering.

The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait has issued the advisory to all undocumented OFWs, warning them of the massive crackdown that the Kuwaiti government will enforce against illegal workers or aliens.

The Kuwaiti Interior Ministry has issued the circular on January 29 extending the amnesty program only until February 22.

Under the program, all overstaying migrant workers will be allowed exit without suffering fines or penalties.

Illegal workers, on the other hand, will be given the chance to process their documents so they can stay in the country legally.

“Pag umalis kayo under na amnesty period ay maari pa kayong bumalik ng Kuwait… walang ban sa pagbalik sa Kuwait… ngunit kung abutan kayo ng crackdown ikukulong kayo at may lifetime ban sa pagbalik sa Kuwait,” Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait, Renato Pedro T. Villa said.

( Translation: If you leave within the amnesty period, you may still return ti Kuwait…there is no ban on returning to Kuwait…but if the crackdown catches up with you, you will be jailed and banned for life from returning to Kuwait.)

Based on Kuwaiti government data, the number undocumented Filipino workers in the country has already reached a little less than 11,000.

Most of them are domestic helpers who often fall prey to illegal recruitment or have expired working visas.

However, the Philippine Embassy has only received around 300 applications for the amnesty program.

Once these applications are given clearance by the Kuwaiti government, they will be allowed to go home.

The Department of Foreign Affairs had also sent auxiliary personnel to assist the OFWs in the processing of their amnesty program applications. – Bert Cerudo | 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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PHL, Kuwait sign agreement over OFW protection

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Saturday, May 12th, 2018

DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al Hamad Al Sabah sign the Agreement of the Employment of Domestic Workers on May 11, 2018 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kuwait. (DFA photo)

Filipino workers in Kuwait would now receive additional protection following the signing of an agreement between the Philippines and Kuwait.

Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano and Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al Hamad Al Sabah signed the Agreement of the Employment of Domestic Workers on May 11.

The signing was also witnessed by Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and other Philippines government officials led by Special Envoy Mohammad Mama-o.

The agreement ensures, among others, that Filipino domestic workers have access to prompt legal assistance whenever necessary.

It also states that Kuwaiti employers will provide domestic workers with food, housing, clothing and health insurance. They are not allowed to confiscate the passport of their employees and that OFWs shall be allowed the use of cellphones; at least 7 hours of sleep; and one day off weekly with pay. — UNTV News & Rescue

 

 

 

 

 

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PH-Kuwait agreement on OFW protection to be signed on May 11

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, May 10th, 2018

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

 

KUWAIT– The Philippine delegation to Kuwait confirmed that a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on the protection of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) in the Gulf State will be signed on Friday, May 11.

Speaking in a press conference on Wednesday night, May 9, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said both governments finally have agreed on the provisions of the MOA on the welfare and protection of Filipino workers in Kuwait.

“Tatlo pong mga cabinet secretary o ministers dito sa Kuwait ang aming nakausap,” Roque said. “Dito naman po kay Ministry of Labor ang napag-usapan talaga ay iyong tungkol doon sa Memorandum of Agreement na pipirmahan na.”

(We spoke with three cabinet secretaries or ministers in Kuwait. We discussed the signing of Memorandum of Agreement with the Ministry of Labor.)

The provisions in the proposed MOA on OFW protection included the ones President Rodrigo Duterte expected to be in the agreement. First is the condition that passports of  OFWs should be deposited with the Philippine Embassy; second, OFWs will be given one day off weekly with pay; third, OFWs will be allowed at least 7 hours of sleep every night; fourth, OFWs should be provided a proper and healthy meals.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said though the Kuwaiti government agreed, he admitted that the other party was adamant at first over the said provisions.

“Iyon ang naging mainit na debate, iyong passport dahil (The passport issue triggered a heated debate because) initially they agreed that the passport should be deposited with the Philippine Embassy. Pero ang sabi nila hindi na kailangang ilagay sa MOU iyan, basta we will agree. So our technical working group insisted na kailangan nandun sa MOU. Finally, after a heated argument nag-agree na sila,” Bello explained.

(The passport issue triggered a heated debate because initially they agreed that the passport should be deposited with the Philippine Embassy. But they said “There’s no need to include it in the MOU. We will just agree.” So our technical working group insisted on including it in the MOU. They finally agreed after a heated argument.)

The Kuwaiti government has created a special police unit that works 24/7 to respond to reports of distressed OFWs, according to Roque.

Meanwhile, Kuwait has released the four Filipino drivers who accompanied embassy officials in the controversial rescue mission last month. Roque assured that the four will not be deported and they are cleared of charges.

Alongside these developments, the Philippine officials also confirmed that the Kuwaiti government allowed the repatriation of the 600 distressed OFWs in the Gulf State. One hundred fifty of them will be going home together with the Philippine delegation.

“Maiiwan iyong 62 kasi may kaso pa. Pero yung walang kaso pauuwiin na nila at their expense. Nabigla nga kami, napasipa ako kay Sec. Roque nung sinabi na at their expense. So that is a bonus na unexpected talaga,” Bello said.

(The 62 OFWs with pending cases will remain while the rest will be sent home at their (Kuwait’s) expense. We were so surprised by the offer that I nudged Sec. Roque, when they said “at their expense.” It was a really unexpected bonus.)

Meanwhile, newly appointed special envoy to Kuwait Abdullah Mama-O is expected to arrive to Kuwait today, May 10, for the finalization of the agreement before the official signing tomorrow, May 11. – Mirasol Abogadil / Marje Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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