Labor department condemns killing of OFW in Kuwait

THE Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) on Tuesday, December 31, condemned the killing of another overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in Kuwait despite the signing of an agreement between the two countries in 2018.

In a statement, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the Philippines is outraged over the reported death of OFW Jeanelyn Padernal Villavende, allegedly at the hands of her employer.

"The Labor Department is deeply saddened and outraged over the violent death of Filipino worker Jeanelyn Padernal Villavende in the hands of her Kuwaiti employer," said Bello.

"The case is a clear violation of the agreement signed by both Kuwait and the Philippines in 2018 that seeks to uphold and promote the protection of the rights and welfare of our workers in the Gulf state," he furthered.

In early 2018, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration imposed a four-month total deployment ban to Kuwait upon the directives of no less than President Duterte amid the continued abuses and maltreatment of OFWs there, highlighted by the killing of domestic worker, Joanna Demafelis.

After the lifting of the ban in May 2018, the governments of the Philippines and Kuwait entered into a memorandum of agreement on the deployment and protection of OFWs to be deployed there.

On late Monday, December 30, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported that a Filipina household service worker has been killed allegedly by her employer’s wife.

An investigation of the case is already underway, according to the DFA.

The labor chief, then, pushed for the speedy resolution of the case of Villavende's death.

"The Department looks forward to the swift resolution of the case and that justice will be served to Villavende and her family," said Bello.

The official also assured that adequate assistance will be provided to the family of Villavende.

"The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration will provide burial and livelihood assistance, as well as scholarship to the family members of Villavende," said Bello. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)