Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Monday ordered a total ban in the deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait, days after the body of a Filipina was found in a freezer in an abandoned apartment unit.
Bello announced the order on Monday morning at a press conference at the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) office in Manila. He was joined by the family of Joanna Demafelis, the Filipina found in the freezer.
"In pursuit of national interest, and with the advent of the series of reports involving abuse and death of Overseas Filipino Workers in Kuwait, a total ban on deployment of all overseas Filipino workers to Kuwait pursuant to the directive of the President of the Philippines is hereby enforced," Bello's order read.
Prior to the total ban, the government has suspended the deployment of OFWs to Kuwait following reports of abuses, some of them resulting in deaths.
The ban was in accordance with President Rodrigo Duterte's directive to Bello.
Duterte has asked Filipino workers in Kuwait who are distressed or wish to return home to take advantage of the free flights that will be afforded them in 72 hours.
An estimated 250,000 Filipinos are working in Kuwait, 75 percent of which are household service workers.
The Department of Labor and Employment is mulling if they will still allow Filipino workers vacationing in the Philippines to return to Kuwait.
Malacañang, meanwhile, has said that Filipinos already working in Kuwait may stay if they have no complaints about their employers.
Bello bans OFW deployment to Kuwait
4/ 5Oleh BNP Correspondent