Kuwait OFW-deployment ban leaves 25000 household service workers stranded

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Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) and low-priced airline Cebu Pacific have heeded President Rodrigo Roa Duterte's call to transport Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Kuwait who wish to be repatriated back to the Philippines, following the recent death of an OFW whose body was tracked down inside a freezer.

An emotional President Rodrigo Duterte live on television showed graphic photos of the body of a Filipina found in the freezer of an abandoned apartment in Kuwait and made a plea to Gulf states to treat his countrymen with dignity.

"And, while they are waiting, the agencies continue to pay for their housing accommodation, waiting for the go signal to proceed to Kuwait", he said. There are also large numbers in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

"If proven true that it was reported to them and they did not act on it...we will immediately order their recall and replace them with more compassionate people to OFWs", added Bello.

"Our efforts to protect our kababayans will not end with the imposition of deployment bans or the repatriation of our workers in countries where they are prone to maltreatment", Cayetano said. The government said it would help workers who want to return do so.

THESE 25 distressed Overseas Filipino Workers from Kuwait feel relieved as they arrive in the country at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 onboard Philippines Airlines Flight PR 669. The woman's body bore torture marks and indications that she was strangled to death.

On Monday, the DFA received the first batch of workers who were repatriated on three commercial flights that left Kuwait on Sunday afternoon.

In addition to the special flights, PAL has been repatriating OFWs using its four weekly Kuwait - Manila regular flights over the past few months. "She believes that there is no need to work overseas since 'many opportunities await" Filipino workers in the Philippines. It is also in the process of formulating a set of policy and other recommendations so that the government will have additional options on how to "save" OFWs from slavery and human trafficking.

"The Embassy and POLO in Kuwait expect that more than 10,000 Filipinos who have overstayed their visas are qualified for repatriation", Arriola said.

Officials added they were eyeing China and Russian Federation as "alternative markets" for overseas workers.

Kuwait authorities are looking to resolve the issue with the Filipino government and with Interpol on the case.

The association announced it is drawing up recommendations for a more effective delivery of services to OFWs, not just in Kuwait but the entire world.