DOLE Suspends OFW Deployment to Kuwait

The Department of Labor and Employment has ordered the suspension of deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait, following the death of seven Filipinos in the country recently.

In DOLE Administrative Order No 25-2018, Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the deployment of OFWs, both returning and new hires, has been stopped. The order will take effect immediately while an investigation over the death of the seven OFWs is going on, DOLE information and publication service director Raul Francia said.

Bello likewise ordered the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to stop the processing of overseas employment certificates of Kuwait-bound workers, Francia said.

Amanda Araneta, president of Philippine Association of Accredited Agencies to Kuwait, however, said a deployment ban is not the most effective strategy to stop household service workers from going to the Middle East.

She reasoned that the deaths of two workers were accidents, as they suffocated in their homes because of a charcoal heater they used during the cold winter.

The death of one worker, on the other hand, was linked to a love triangle while another one was a suicide case.

Araneta said the deployment ban will only lead to more Filipino workers being trafficked by illegal recruitment syndicates which “are still very active in the country.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs earlier said it would discuss alleged abuses of Filipinos in Kuwait with that country’s ambassador before deciding whether or not to implement a total deployment ban.

“I think on Monday our undersecretary and assistant secretary will be talking to the ambassador regarding the statement of the President,” Cayetano told reporters yesterday.

“I’m expecting a good response from the ambassador but of course we have to see the response translate into action, meaning protection of our OFWs,” Cayetano said.

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