Kuwait condemns Philippine president's call to evacuate workers

A group of recruitment companies expressed support on the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to extend the suspension of the deployment of overseas Filipino workers to Kuwait

But what pushed the Philippines over the edge appears to the killing of a domestic worker whose body was left in a freezer in a Kuwait City apartment reportedly abandoned since November 2016.

"I am appealing to the government, help us seek justice for my daughter's death", Eva Demafelis, mother of Joanna Daniela Demafelis, told ABS CBN network after she, her husband, and children arrived in Manila from their hometown in Iloilo, central Philippines on Saturday.

The measure came after President Rodrigo Duterte angrily lashed out at Kuwait over reports of Filipino workers suffering abuse and exploitation.

Filipina migrant workers protest in Hong Kong.

On Monday, the Philippine government officially enforced a "total ban" on the deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait.

An order was also issued suspending the processing of new employment certificates for Filipinos wanting to work in Kuwait.

According to the agency, the amnesty program was approved by the Kuwaiti government in January 2018 upon representations made by the Philipine government through the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait.

Some 150 OFWs were initially scheduled to arrive in Manila but 12 of them did not show up while the other 22 were held by Kuwait authorities due to their pending cases, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said.

Bello in a statement said there were lots of other alternative job markets for OFWs affected by the deployment ban to that country, including Czechoslovakia, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Europe and the United States.

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"We will also go after illegal recruiters, human traffickers and other modern-day slave traders who continue to victimize our people".

Duterte is set to welcome 127 overseas Filipino workers (OFW) from Kuwait on Tuesday night at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1.

Filipino workers suffer from racial discrimination worldwide.

Roque identified the two Arab countries as "more humane" host nations for Filipino workers, following President Duterte's decision to repatriate distressed workers from Kuwait.

Aside from shouldering the cost of the airfare, the Philippine government shall also settle the immigration penalties of overstaying Filipinos.

"Under global law, Kuwait has the obligation to provide justice for our countrymen", he said.

Based on official government records, about 500,000 Filipinos are in Kuwait, and there are more than 3.5 million Filipinos scattered in the Middle East, officials said.

It demanded full cooperation by Kuwaiti officials with the Philippine embassy to promote the well-being of Filipino workers and facilitating the early conclusion of a bilateral labour agreement to protect the rights of Filipino household service workers there, he said.

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