REPATRIATED WORKERS: On March 12, another batch of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) from Kuwait arrived in the Philippines.
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has reported a good progress in the discussion of bilateral agreement between the Kuwaiti and Philippine governments regarding overseas Filipino workers’ (OFW) protection.
According to DFA, Kuwait has already approved of the minimum monthly salary of 120 Kuwaiti dinars to Filipino domestic helpers; rest hours of not less than eight hours of sleep in a day; right to keep passports and mobile phones in OFWs’ possession; and limiting work to one household.
But DFA clarified that these are not enough reasons for the Philippines to retract the total deployment ban of OFW to Kuwait.
Aside from not yet having a signed agreement for it, the Gulf state still needs to agree with other conditions that will protect Filipinos against exploitation and abuse.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano also urged direct deposit of salary to the bank account of the Filipino workers and to create a mechanism where an OFW may directly file a complaint to the Kuwaiti authorities.
Meanwhile, another batch of overseas Filipino workers from Kuwait arrived in the Philippines on Monday.
Most of them had bad experiences working in the Gulf state including abuse from their employers.
Based on records of the foreign affairs department, the number of OFWs who were sent back to the Philippines since February of this year has now reached 3,200.
But according to Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), OFWs keep coming to the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait in the hope of flying back home to the Philippines.
As of this time, the number of OFWs being sheltered in the Philippine Embassy and waiting to be sent home to the Philippines has reached to more than a thousand.
“Kumukuha po tayong dagdag na tirahan sa kanila, para po lahat ng mga magpupunta po sa POLO-OWWA ay atin pong ma-accommodate sa shelter,” said OWWA Deputy administrator for operations Atty. Brigido Dulay.
(We are getting additional shelters for those who will go to POLO-OWWA so we can accommodate them.) — Asher Cadapan Jr. | UNTV News & Rescue
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