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Bello sees MOU with Kuwait on OFW rights before May

/ 10:31 AM April 11, 2018

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/ MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

HAINAN, China — Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the memorandum of understanding with Kuwait for better treatment of overseas Filipino workers may be signed before Ramadan, which comes in May this year.

Bello said he had finalized the MOU and was just waiting for President Rodrigo Duterte’s signal on when to sign it.

Bello told reporters in Hainan that Duterte may be the one to sign the deal and said this must be done before the fasting month of Ramadan.

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“It should be within April because once we enter May, it would be Ramadan and [Kuwaiti officials] would not be available,” Bello said.

Duterte earlier banned the deployment of Filipinos to Kuwait after the discovery of the body of domestic worker Joana Demafelis inside a freezer.

Demafelis had been missing for over a year.

The President had set conditions on the better treatment of Filipino workers in Kuwait before he would lift the ban.

He earlier said the Filipino workers’ passports must not be confiscated by Kuwaiti employers, as this is akin to holding them hostage.

The workers must be guaranteed adequate sleep, he said, noting that the tendency in the past was to work Filipinos to the bone and have them serve families other than their employers.

Filipino workers must also have a day off for them to go to church, he said. They must also be allowed to cook their own food, lamenting that there have been Filipino maids in Kuwait who have been fed scraps. /cbb

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TAGS: Features, Joana Demafelis, Kuwait, MOU, ofws, Ramadan, Rodrigo Duterte, Silvestre Bello III
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