Kuwait deployment ban partially lifted
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) on Thursday ordered the partial lifting of the deployment ban in Kuwait for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), except for household service workers (HSWs)—both new and returning.
“It will take some very serious study before we can consider lifting the ban on HSWs,” said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.
“Exempted from the ban are the skilled workers, semiskilled workers and professionals. Both the new hires and returning can already be deployed,” he said, adding that the directive was effective immediately.
According to Bello, the decision to partially lift the ban was in response to the approval of a harmonized contract of employment for OFWs between Kuwait and the Philippines.
“This is a measure that would provide effective and efficient protection to our overseas workers,” he said.
The POEA imposed last month a total deployment ban on all OFWs in Kuwait following the killing of HSW Jeanelyn Villavende, allegedly by her employers.
A National Bureau of Investigation autopsy report showed that Villavende was not just tortured but also sexually abused by her employer before she was killed in the Gulf state in December 2019.
Bello said he was informed that Villavende’s employers have already been charged with murder and are now in detention.
A 2018 labor deal between Kuwait and the Philippines meant to protect HSWs have the following terms: allowing Filipino HSWs to keep their passports and cell phones, setting one day off with pay, and designated working and sleeping hours.
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