DOLE eyes China, Russia for OFWs repatriated from Kuwait

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 11 2018 03:42 PM | Updated as of Sep 07 2018 01:34 PM

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MANILA - The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said Sunday it is looking at other countries where overseas Filipino workers can be deployed after being repatriated from Kuwait. 

"We are now in the process of looking alternative markets. One of them is China. And even Russia," said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III in an interview with ANC. 

At least 800 undocumented OFWs in Kuwait are set to go home following the order of President Rodrigo Duterte who fumed after reports of brutal deaths suffered by Filipino workers there.

A Filipina whose body was found in a freezer was just the recent death in the Gulf country which is home to at least 250,000 OFWs and about 50,000 undocumented Filipino workers.

The government is also set to ban OFW deployment to Kuwait. 

While mulling the redeployment of the OFWs to other countries, Bello assured them of work under the government's reintegration program.

"Bibigyan sila ng livelihood. Kung may naghihintay ng trabaho dito, we're looking for teachers, we're looking for skilled workers," the Labor chief said. 

The labor chief also said that some of the OFWs may opt to stay in the Philippines as the government's massive infrastructure push is expected to generate millions of jobs at home.

"With the forthcoming infrastructure project of the president, we are talking of more than 2 milion jobs a year, starting this year, until the end of his term." 

Bello said the Philippines may lift the ban if Kuwait signs a memorandum of agreement, which will bar employers from confiscating OFWs' passports, among others.