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Duterte to fly to Kuwait for signing of OFW welfare agreement

Alexis Romero - Philstar.com
Duterte to fly to Kuwait for signing of OFW welfare agreement
Duterte is in Hong Kong to meet members of the Filipino community.
Alexis Romero

HONG KONG — President Rodrigo Duterte said he will travel to Kuwait to witness the signing of an agreement that will provide protection to overseas Filipino workers there.

Duterte said the Kuwaiti government has agreed to his demands, which were meant to improve the working conditions of Filipino migrant workers. 

"I have made many demands and in fairness to the Kuwaiti government, they agreed," the president said in a meeting with members of the Filipino community Thursday here. 

"I will go there for the signing," he added. 

Duterte did not say when he would visit Kuwait but Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello has said the signing should be done within the month, or before the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. 

Duterte's demands include prohibiting employers from confiscating workers' passports, allowing OFWs to sleep for at least seven hours, allowing them to cook their own food, giving them a day off end ansuring that they would not experience physical abuse. 

Last February, Duterte imposed a ban on the deployment of Filipino migrant workers to Kuwait because of the reported maltreatment of some Filipino workers in the Gulf state. 

The ban was announced after the discovery of the body of 29-year-old Filipina worker Joanna Demafelis inside a freezer in the Al Shaab district.

A Kuwaiti court has handed Demafelis' employers a death sentence but officials said the deployment ban would only be lifted once an agreement on the protection of OFWs is signed. 

ABUSED OFWS

DISTRESSED OFWS

JOANNA DEMAFELIS

KUWAIT OFWS

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