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Ban on OFWs in Kuwait creates confusion, leaves returning expats worried
February 13, 2018, 12:56 pm

A number of returning Filipino expatriates were initially denied exit at the international airport in the Philippines on Monday following the issuance of an order banning the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Kuwait. The 200 travellers that encountered delays were vacationing Filipino workers with unfinished labour contracts in Kuwait.

According to an ABS CBN report, the “total ban” on OFW deployment has created confusion at the airport and left traveling OFWs worried. Workers were initially denied the necessary clearances from the immigration and Philippine Overseas Employment Authority (POEA). The Philippine government on Monday issued an administrative order to put a stop to the deployment of Filipino workers in Kuwait .The move is in response to a series of incidents that led to the deaths and injuries of a number of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Kuwait.

However, government personnel at the airport were not certain whether the order also covers returning OFWs with valid work permits. One of the traveling OFWs who encountered delays, Evangeline Daniel, said she doesn’t see any reason why she should leave her current employer because she has been treated well.

“They’re good to me, so why look for another employer?” Daniel, who has been a domestic helper in Kuwait for seven years, told ABS CBN. Daniel and the rest of the returning OFWs were later granted the clearance to depart after airport personnel were told that the new employment ban does not apply to returning OFWs.

The head of the country’s Department of Labour and Employment (Dole), Secretary Silvestre Bello III, had earlier explained that not all OFWs will be mandated to leave or denied exit to Kuwait. The government will also have to review whether or not the ban should extend to Filipino expats on vacation, or those under the Balik Manggagawa program.

"Only those who want to go home and those who really have to [including Filipinos who are out of jobs] should leave," Bello said. Expats who are being treated well and have stable jobs can choose to stay.

The administrative order was issued following an order from President Rodrigo Duterte. Amid reports of “inhuman treatment” of Filipino expats, Duterte had earlier called on OFWs based in Kuwait to leave the country.

Source: Gulf News

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