The total deployment ban in Kuwait might be extended to other countries, President Duterte said Tuesday.
Duterte issued this statement as he reiterated that the ban on Filipino workers in Kuwait would remain.
“The ban will continue and it will extend to other countries. Mahirapan sila, well, humihingi na ako ng tawad sa inyo. I will not allow … Hindi … Wala akong kaplano na ipadala kayo doon tapos babuyin kayo. Hindi ko style ‘yan,” he said in a speech before Filipino-Chinese businessmen at the Manila Hotel.
Duterte had earlier slammed the Kuwaiti government for the reported abuse of OFWs in the Gulf State, including 29-year-old Joanna Demafelis whose body was found inside a freezer in Kuwait City.
“The Filipino is a slave of nobody. The Filipino seeks to work abroad to earn a living so that he can help his family because the economy here, local, cannot absorb the entire workforce who would want to,” he said.
He appealed to other nations to “give us the dignity of a human being, you treat us humanely, be tolerant of our cultural differences and do not abuse our women because it will inflict a long and lasting wound.”
“That is why, I’m addressing myself, not only to Kuwait but to the entire nations in the world to say that Filipinos are everywhere seeking livelihood, can I please plead to you? Please do not degrade them like animals, do not treat them as a slave,” he said.
Duterte acknowledged that the existing ban would hurt OFWs but said he was looking into other options.
“That’s why I’m suspending and it will continue. Will it involve hardships? Yes. Will it involve sacrifice? Yes. Would it mean anger? Yes. To me, yes. Tanggapin ko lahat,” he said.
“I’m ready to admit everything but the ban stands. Umuwi lang kayo dito maski na papaano matulungan ko kayo maski sa pagkain,” he added.
He said China might be needing Filipino workers.
“Maybe China needs additional workers or teachers, especially that every Chinese who wants to learn English, we have a supply of that or human resource,” he said.