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Philippines Bars Citizens From Working in Kuwait, Citing Abuses

12 February 2018

The Filipino embassy was not immediately available for comment.

More than 250,000 Filipinos work in Kuwait, many as maids, said the Filipino authorities.

The Philippines is one of the primary sources of domestic workers overseas, including Singapore, China's Hong Kong and Middle East countries like Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The move comes after President Rodrigo Duterte's pronouncement that Filipino workers in Kuwait who want to go home may be repatriated within the next 72 hours.

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The overseas Filipino workers who arrived on Monday were among those who availed the amnesty program.

Meanwhile, Cacdac said among the assistance that will be extended to the family of Joanna are death and burial benefits, livelihood assistance, financial assistance, and repatriation cost after the investigation of the Kuwait authorities.

"To date, some 2,229 Filipinos have been issued travel documents, and 1,754 of already have been granted immigration clearances", Bello said.

In 2016, deaths of 82 Filipinos were recorded in Kuwait and the number has increased by at least 20 percent in 2017. The woman's body bore torture marks and indications that she was strangled to death. The Philippines also sends skilled workers to Kuwait.

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On Monday, the DFA received the first batch of workers who were repatriated on three commercial flights that left Kuwait on Sunday afternoon.

While they also support the deployment to further improve the protection of OFWs in Kuwait, Coalition of Licensed Agencies for Domestic and Service Workers president Lucy D. Sermonia told the BusinessMirror the recent development will lead to lost employment opportunities for some Kuwait-bound Filipinos workers. A total of 10,800 are 'overstaying violators, ' Arriola added.

Cayetano, who cochairs the government Cluster on OFWs with Bello, said the DFA and the DOLE are also coordinating with other government agencies in taking steps to strictly implement the ban on the deployment of new workers to the Gulf state. In a press statement, the airline announced, 'Cebu Pacific will be mounting a special flight to Kuwait to assist our compatriots who wish to be repatriated.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that the government is now processing the repatriation of more OFWs from Kuwait. 'We strongly condemn the brutal killing of another Filipina whose body was discovered in a freezer where it may have been kept for over a year.

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Officials added they were eyeing China and Russian Federation as "alternative markets" for overseas workers.

Philippines Bars Citizens From Working in Kuwait, Citing Abuses