Immigration checks tighten amid deployment ban to Kuwait

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 13 2018 09:58 PM

Filipinos and foreigners arrive and leave the country through the NAIA airport in Manila. ABS-CBN News file photo

MANILA - Immigration counters in all international airports and seaports nationwide have tightened inspections to strictly implement the total ban on deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Kuwait, the Bureau of Immigration chief said Tuesday.

The policy against the deployment of OFWs to the Gulf state was enforced after the body of 29-year old Joanna Daniela Demafelis was discovered inside the freezer of her employers’ abandoned apartment, and in the wake of 6 other recent Filipino deaths in Kuwait. 

Rigid inspection of all departing Filipino passengers is aimed at thwarting attempts by illegal recruiters to facilitate the exit of Kuwait-bound OFWs, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement.

"We shall implement this deployment ban to the letter and immigration personnel who connive with the escort syndicates will be dealt with severely," he said. 

The bureau called on the public to report any Immigration personnel involved in the so-called racket. 

The government also implemented a repatriation program to bring back OFWs from Kuwait. 

At least 400 OFWs were brought home on Monday via the government's repatriation program. At least 150 OFWs are expected to arrive in the Philippines on Tuesday, and 250 more on Wednesday.