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by | TOP STORIES

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is expecting more than 2,200 overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who will come home until next week from Kuwait amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to repatriate them in the wake of the recent spate of killings of Filipino workers in the Gulf country.

“We have been informed that as of Friday there were 2,200-plus Filipinos who are willing to go home,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III told Reuters in an interview.

More than 400 OFWs are expected to arrive today, February 12. Two hundred sixty of them arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport early morning Monday onboard Philippine Airlines flight PR 669.

Officials from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), DOLE, and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) welcomed them at the airport and promised to give them cash and legal assistance. Most of the repatriated OFWs overstayed, while others ran away from their employers.

The executive order and repatriation guidelines on the total deployment ban of OFWs in Kuwait are expected to be issued today by DOLE and will take into effect immediately.

Local airlines Cebu Pacific (CEB) and Philippine Airlines (PAL) will join forces to fetch overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who wish to be repatriated from Kuwait.

The airlines made the announcement on Saturday after President Duterte urged their help for the repatriation efforts of the government.

In a statement released February 10, Cebu Pacific said it will be sending the largest aircraft in its fleet for free in response to the call made by the president last Friday.

“CEB will be deploying an Airbus A330 aircraft—the largest in its fleet, for the charter flight. It has a maximum capacity of 436 passengers. [It] will also provide free food and refreshment, as well as baggage allowance for all passengers on this charter flight,” CEB read.

Meanwhile, PAL will also work hand in hand with the government in its repatriation efforts. “In the service of our ‘kababayans’ (countrymen), we will be ensuring their safe journey back to the Philippines. PAL is more than ready to mount extra flights to Kuwait, as needed,” PAL said.

On Friday, Pres. Duterte ordered Labor secretary Silvestre Bello III to bring home OFWs in Kuwait within 72 hours after the authorities discovered the body of a Filipina inside a freezer in Kuwait City.

Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Pedro Villa estimates around 10,000 OFWs are overstaying in Kuwait. Around 80 percent of them are domestic workers, and majority of whom have claimed abuse from employers.

 

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THE FILIPINO TIMES is the biggest and most trusted Filipino newspaper in the UAE.

It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 1 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

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