Palace: Partial lifting of deployment ban to Kuwait begins

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 15 2018 02:03 PM

Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Kuwait arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila on Monday, February 12, 2018. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- The Philippines on Tuesday implemented the partial lifting of the deployment ban of workers to Kuwait after the two nations forged a deal to protect Filipino migrant workers in the Gulf state.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the lifting of the deployment ban of skilled and semi-skilled workers is effective on Tuesday.

"Lifting of deployment ban of skilled and semi-skilled workers to Kuwait effective today," he told reporters.

In February, Manila ordered a total ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait, following instructions from President Rodrigo Duterte.

The move came after a string of reported deaths and abuses of Filipino workers in the Gulf state, including Joanna Demafelis, whose body was found in a freezer.

Last Saturday, Roque also announced that the relationship of the two nations has returned to normal after a diplomatic row over the treatment of Filipino workers.

Philippine officials last month “rescued” distressed workers allegedly without coordinating with Kuwaiti officials, prompting the latter to banish Manila's ambassador.

Improved ties between the 2 countries can be seen in Kuwait's move to sign a deal for the protection of overseas Filipino workers, said Roque.

Officials from both countries signed last Friday the memorandum of understanding called the "Agreement on the Employment of Domestic Workers between the Philippines and Kuwait."

Among the provisions of the deal are the creation of a 24/7 hotline where Filipino workers may report abuses, and a special police unit to respond to such complaints.

-with a report from Dexter Ganibe, ABS-CBN News