MANILA (UPDATE) —The Philippines lifted its deployment ban to Kuwait, as the two governments reached an agreement for better working conditions of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said Thursday.
This new development covers the deployment of household service workers, whose deployment were still prohibited even when the country partially lifted the deployment ban on workers to Kuwait.
"So now pwede nang, they can deploy now lahat 'yung household service workers, yung mga semi-skilled workers, mga skilled workers and professionals," Bello told ABS-CBN News.
(So now they can send all, household service workers, semi-skilled workers, skilled workers and professionals.)
Among the conditions met by the Kuwaiti government is the filing of charges against Jeanelyn Villavende's employers.
Bello also said the Kuwaiti government has agreed on a harmonized standard employment contract for overseas Filipino workers.
With the new contract, employers are barred keeping the passport of their workers.
The workers will also be allowed to use their mobile phones after work. They are also entitled to a day off with pay.
Working hours and the hours for sleep should also be indicated in the contracts.
Workers will also be prohibited to transfer to another employer without the written consent of the Philippine Labor Attache in Kuwait.
The Philippines imposed a total ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait following the killing of household worker Jeanelyn Villavende, who was found to have been sexually abused and tortured by her employer.
Villavende's employers have been arrested, while the agency that sent her to Kuwait has been suspended, Bello earlier said.
The country last imposed a total deployment ban on the Gulf state in 2018 after Filipina migrant worker Joanna Demafelis was slain and discovered inside a freezer at an abandoned apartment there. Her employer was found guilty for her slay.
—With a report from Dexter Ganibe, ABS-CBN News