Partial ban on Kuwait deployment takes effect

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Partial ban on Kuwait deployment takes effect

THE Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) will no longer process papers of newly hired household service workers (HSWs) bound for Kuwait beginning Saturday, January 4.

The POEA Governing Board passed on Friday, January 3, 2020, a resolution imposing a temporary and partial ban on deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Kuwait.

"Now, therefore, the POEA Governing Board in a meeting duly convened resolves to adopt the said Memorandum and effect a deployment ban for newly-hired domestic workers to Kuwait effective immediately," Resolution No. 1-2020 states.

"Resolved that a moratorium on the verification, accreditation, and processing of individual contracts and additional job orders for the same category of workers shall be effected," it added.

However, the POEA Board said Overseas Employment Certificates (OECs) for the said category of workers bound for Kuwait issued on or before 5 p.m. of January 3 shall still be valid for deployment.

The decision was prompted by the death of Jeanelyn Villavende allegedly at the hands of her employers.

Villavende's death is deemed a violation of the Agreement on Employment of Domestic Workers between the Philippines and Kuwait, which was signed in May 2018.

The agreement was signed after the Philippines imposed a total ban on deployment to Kuwait because of the killing of Joanna Demafelis, a Filipina whose body was found stuffed inside a freezer in an abandoned apartment in Kuwait in February 2018.

The agreement, which upholds and promotes the welfare of Filipino workers in Kuwait, paved the way for the lifting of the total ban.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III first announced on Thursday the government's plan to impose another ban on Kuwait deployment.

Villavende was allegedly beaten to death by her employer in Kuwait. She was already dead when she was brought to the hospital, Labor Attache Nasser Mustafa of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Kuwait had reported. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)