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Duterte may reconsider total deployment ban if Kuwait inks migrant labor pact with PH

by | TOP STORIES

The governments of the Philippines and Kuwait are expected to sign a memorandum of understanding for the protection of overseas Filipino workers by March, according to Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III.

The Labor Secretary said in an interview with ABS-CBN that technical working groups from the two countries are set to meet by the end of February.

“Baka pag nalagdaan yang MOU na yan, this may be a very good reason for the President to reconsider yung total deployment ban. Pag napirmahan yan, we’ll have additional protection for our workers,” he said.

Bello wants to make sure that the agreement will guarantee the OFWs to keep their passports instead of surrendering it to their employers. He also wants a provision specifying working hours, especially for the household service workers.

“Pag hawak ng employer mo yung pasaporte mo, hawak ka na sa leeg…Dapat talaga hindi nila kunin ‘yan dahil yang pasaporte na yan, hindi yan pagmamay-ari ng ating mga kababayan. Ang may-ari niyan ay ang gobyerno,” the DOLE chief said.

DOLE has imposed a total ban on the deployment of overseas Filipino workers to Kuwait, as ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte, following the reports of abuses and deaths of OFWs in Gulf state.

Moreover, Bello met with around 300 Filipino workers displaced by the ban, who insisted that they were safe to leave as they are not household service workers.

The worker’s told Bello that their visas expiration draws near and their employers are expecting their return, however the earliest date of departure is on March 9.

He told the Kuwait-bound workers that the President would “consider lifting the total deployment ban” once the MOU is already signed so the government can ensure that OFWs would be ” treated fairly” and “treated as human beings” in Kuwait.

“Hindi nila (Kuwaitis) ma-afford na mawala itong ating mga manggagawa. They need them. They trust them. They believe in them. Kaya pag nawala ang mga Pilipino dun, mai-immobilize ang buong Kuwait,” he said.

The DOLE chief also promised assistance to workers whose visas are about to expire.

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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.

THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

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