OFW group slams ‘abrupt’ lifting of Kuwait deployment ban

A NON-GOVERNMENT organization (NGO) advocating overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) Saturday, February 15, slammed the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) for the full lifting of the deployment ban to Kuwait.

In a brief statement, Blas F. Ople Policy Center head Susan Ople assailed the “abrupt” lifting of the ban that will now allow the deployment of new hires and returning household service workers (HSWs) to Kuwait.

“We are saddened by it as there remains unresolved issues. We hope that our sides will also be heard by DOLE,” said Ople.

She pointed how the deployment ban was announced lifted by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III in front of recruitment sector leaders, but without the presence of OFW organizations and civil society groups.

“The announcement on the lifting of the ban was done before a jubilant crowd of recruitment agency owners. Honestly, it appears to me that the setting was quite inappropriate, if not downright insensitive,” said Ople.

The former Dole undersecretary said the Ople Center’s own dialogue with OFW groups indicated a different consensus from the government’s decision.

“Returning OFWs going back to their old and current employers should be allowed to continue their contracts. The ban should still be maintained on those to be deployed as domestic workers for the first time to Kuwait,” related Ople.

Last week, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) ordered the full lifting of the deployment ban to Kuwait.

This means that the government will resume the processing and deployment of all remaining categories of domestic workers or household service workers to Kuwait.

The full lifting of the ban is prompted by the filing of charges against those behind OFW Jeanelyn Padernal Villavende’s death. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)