PAL, Cebu Pacific to transport repatriated OFWs from Kuwait

A group of recruitment companies expressed support on the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to extend the suspension of the deployment of overseas Filipino workers to Kuwait

As Duterte extends deployment ban on Kuwait, airlines ready special flights to bring home OFWs

"If my appearance. (will solve the labour problems of OFWs in Kuwait), I might go (there), It's a wait and see", Duterte told reporters when asked about his response to Kuwait Ambassador to the Philippines Saleh Ahmad Al Thwaikh, who invited him (Duterte) last Wednesday to visit the Gulf state.

In his speech at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Duterte told his audience not to lose hope and that his administration would assist them and provide them with employment opportunities.

Cacdac said that while the Philippines has general bilateral agreements with Kuwait, the two nations have none on Filipino workers.

Last Friday, Mr Duterte hit out at Kuwait as he brandished photos reportedly of a Filipina maid, Joanna Daniela Demafelis, found in a freezer in Hawally, a residential area that is home to a large Arab expatriate population.

"I'm made to understand that the ban is for all deployment of workers to Kuwait", Roque said in a press briefing yesterday.

Some 150 OFWs were initially scheduled to arrive in Manila but 12 of them did not show up while the other 22 were held by Kuwait authorities due to their pending cases, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said.

The Rodrigo Duterte administration is eyeing Oman and Bahrain as alternative employment destinations for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) displaced by the government's decision to stop deployment to Kuwait.

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Manila is now rushing the repatriation of an estimated 10,000 OFWs, however, the repatriation of these returning Filipinos were processed long before Duterte ordered the deployment ban.

According to data gathered by support groups for OFWs, at least 120 Filipino workers were reported to have died in Kuwait in 2017, many of them simply listed as "suicides".

This was amid an investigation on Filipino household workers dying in that country.

He emphasized that Kuwait was obligated under global law to compensate victims of what the Philippines considered "horrendous crimes". These repatriated OFWs will also be providing free food and refreshments, as well as baggage allowance for all passengers on board the flight.

"Cebu Pacific is mounting a special charter flight from Kuwait to Manila for free".

The ones now being repatriated are those who availed themselves of the amnesty program for overstaying Filipino nationals that the Kuwaiti government approved last month. Many OFWs have already reserved seats on regular PAL flights for the coming days, PAL said. Dominador Say, that will handle the repatriation of our OFWs in Kuwait pursuant to the order of the President to repatriate them within 72 hours.

He said the third task force will conduct job fairs to recruit workers needed in the Philippines.

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