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PH recruiters worry about collapse in OFW remittances due to deployment ban

by | TOP STORIES

The Philippine Association of Agencies to Kuwait (PHILAAK), in a statement on Friday, warned about the possible significant drop in remittances from overseas Filipino workers in Kuwait, as much as $50 million since new hires will not be allowed to leave under the total OFW deployment ban on the Gulf state.

“Pangamba ng PHILAAK na kung magtatagal ang ban ng bagong deployment at kung marami pa ang uuwi na OFW mula Kuwait ngayong 2018, maaaring mas malaki pa sa $50 million ang ibababa ng OFW remittances mula Kuwait,” PHILAAK said.

They also emphasized that it can affect the economy of the Philippine and families who depend on remittances.

“Malaking bagay iyan sa mga naghihirap na pamilyang Pilipino at ekonomiya ng bansa. Masakit iyan para sa mga pamilyang umaasa lamang sa mga padala ng OFW sa Kuwait,” it said.

The recruitment group also made mention of a data from the Central Bank of the Philippines which showed that remittances from OFWs in Kuwait declined by 5.9% in 2017 at $806.484 million from $856.715 million in 2016.

“Sa tingin ng PHILAAK, ang 5.9 percent o $50.23 million dollars na ibinaba ng halaga ng mga padala mula Kuwait ay epekto paghina ng ekonomiya ng Kuwait dahil sa pagbagsak ng presyo ng langis sa world market mula sa kataasan nitong $100 dollars per barrel noong 2015,” it said.

However, the group also stressed that economists have previously said that Kuwait’s economy will get better in the following year.

The deployment ban has not yet triggered much effect, according to the group, but they are hoping that the Philippine government will come up with solutions as soon as possible.

On February 12, the Department of Labor and Employment, under Sec. Silvestre Bello III, imposed a total deployment ban to Kuwait after the body of Joanna Demafelis was found in a freezer.

Kuwait is one of the top countries of deployment for OFWs with at least 250,000 Filipinos working there, 75% of which are domestic helpers. Out of that number, thousands availed the amnesty last week wanting to go home to the Philippines after the imposition of the deployment ban.

Protection amid ban

The Palace expressed hope that the country’s long-term relations with Kuwait would remain unaffected by the issue, albeit clarifying that the President’s primary concern now is the well-being of Filipino migrant workers.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. assured the government’s commitment to provide assistance to the family of Joanna Daniela Demafelis, the Filipina maid whose body was found stored in a freezer.
“Mayroon po tayong standard na binibigay – ang OWWA – sa mga ganitong mga nakakalungkot na pangyayari… So mayroon pong panghanap-buhay, mayroon pong educational benefits para sa mga naiwan, at titingnan pa natin kung madadagdagan pa iyong standard na tulong na binibigay,” he noted.
“[A]ng Presidente naman ay kung mayroong mabibigay, ibibigay po,” he added.
‘INC leader named as special envoy for OFW concerns’
Malacañang backed President Duterte’s decision to tap Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo as his special envoy for concerns related to OFWs.
“Ang pagtatalaga po kay Mr. Eduardo Manalo ay dahil meron po naman talagang network si Mr. Manalo, lalong-lalo na sa iba’t ibang mga Pilipino na nagtatrabaho sa iba’t-ibang mga bansa… Matagal na po sila na gumagalaw sa hanay ng mga overseas Filipino workers,” Roque said.
He further stressed that Manalo’s appointment came at a time when there is an urgency to provide additional assistance to Filipino migrant workers. He said the INC leader is competent for the job, given his vast network and his organization’s notable projects intended for OFWs.
“Siguro po itong mga pangyayari ngayon na nagiging biktima ng pag-abuso ang ating mga OFWs ay naging udyok na matalaga itong si Mr. Manalo, dahil nga doon sa kaniyang… malawak na network at iyong kanilang serbisyo na sa ating mga kababayan abroad,” Roque said. (With supporting reports from PCOO)

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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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