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Thursday, January 16, 2020

No deployment ban backed


By Francis Wakefield


Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said that they support President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement that there will be no deployment ban for OFWs bound for Kuwait despite the tragedy involving the killing of one of our overseas Filipino workers (OFW), Jeanelyn Villavende.

Andanar said this comes after the proactive and just response made by the Kuwaiti Government on the said case as compared to the case of Joanna Demafelis back in 2018.

“The government of Kuwait has carried out what our administration sought for when we signed an agreement with them to provide better protection for Filipino migrant workers in 2018,” Andanar said in a statement.

“The Duterte Administration will continue to seek out agreements with all governments to ensure the safety and protection of our OFW all over the world,” he added.

President Duterte previously said that he is not keen on ordering a total deployment ban in Kuwait following the death of another Filipina worker there.

The President made the remark when asked during a television interview his thoughts on the death of Villavende, allegedly in the hands of her female employer who is now in the custody of Kuwaiti authorities.

According to the Chief Executive, the situation is quite different compared to before as Kuwaiti authorities acted swiftly on the case and able to immediately arrest the perpetrators.

“You know the situation is quite different. We do not see apathy there and the police authorities in Kuwait acted swiftly and they have arrested the spouses,” President Duterte said.

“As you can see, there were arrests made and there is an investigation going on and apparently justice is being done. I’m not really keen on moving people out,” he added.

Chief presidential Legal Counsel and spokesman Salvador Panelo earlier said that it will depend on Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III if it will recommend a total deployment ban of OFW in Kuwait following the death of Padernal.

“Well, as we said earlier, the President is outraged by that, it is a violation of the agreement between these two countries and the incident is under investigation,” Panelo told reporters in a press briefing in MalacaƱang.

“The Secretary of Labor as you said has already executed a partial deployment. Let’s see if it becomes full deployment of the ban,” he added.

Bello previously announced that the government will partially be banning the deployment of overseas household service workers in Kuwait.

The partial ban, he said, was recommended by Labor Attache Nasser Mustafa and is subject to the approval of the governing board of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. The ban will be covering the first-time workers who will serve as household service workers to Kuwait. (TribunePH)