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Senators suggest Kuwait deployment ban after killing of OFW

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Senators suggest Kuwait deployment ban after killing of OFW
A staff member for an OFW deployment center talks on the phone in this undated file photo.
The STAR / Edd Gumban, file

MANILA, Philippines — Senators on Tuesday raised the possibility of suspending worker deployment to Kuwait again over the killing of an overseas Filipino worker whose burnt body was found in the desert over the weekend.

The Department of Migrant Workers, however, said that the executive branch is only considering a review of the 2018 bilateral labor agreement with Kuwait, which is similar to what they did with the country’s agreement with Saudi Arabia. 

"I think we need to reimpose the deployment ban against Kuwait because while we have mentioned [some of] those who died while they were working there, there were many others who also died while working in the Gulf state," Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, chair of the labor committee, said.

Senate Majority Joel Villanueva also noted that the Senate should look into or study if the deployment ban would be needed. 

Meanwhile, Sen. Cynthia Villar said there are "other opportunities" in the Philippines that OFWs can take since "the pay in Kuwait is not much anyway."

Low pay and poor working conditions at home have forced many Filipinos to seek employment abroad for the past five decades. Remittances from overseas Filipinos have helped buoy the Philippine economy for about as long.

"They’ll just endanger their lives there," Villar said.

The suggestions come just days after 35-year-old domestic helper Jullebee Ranara’s burnt body was found, with the 17-year-old son of her employer as the suspect. Philippine authorities, namely the DMW and the Department of Foreign Affairs, are already in coordination with Kuwaiti authorities for the official report of the incident.

The Philippines previously banned the deployment of its workers in Kuwait in 2018 after the body of Filipino domestic worker Joanna Demafelis was found in her employers’ freezer. Another ban was imposed in January 2020 after the killing of another Filipino domestic worker, Jeanelyn Padernal Villavende. – Kaycee Valmonte with reports from Xave Gregorio

DEPLOYMENT BAN

KUWAIT

OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS

OVERSEAS FILIPINOS

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