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Open offices for recruiting Filipino domestics at citizen service centres
April 18, 2018, 8:53 am
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Former MP Kamel Al-Awadhi has called for opening offices for recruitment of Filipino domestic workers in the citizen service centers, which will reduce the cost of recruitment for citizens and also end the role of middlemen, reports Al-Anba daily.

He indicated that the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Philippines revealed that her government only receives KD 12 from the cost for recruitment of Filipino nationals to come to Kuwait and work as domestic workers, while the rest of the money (KD 450) goes to recruitment agencies and bureaus in Kuwait.

Al-Awadhi stressed the importance of adhering to the agreement, which will be signed personally by the President of the Philippines with the Kuwaiti side. He also stressed the need to open recruitment bureaus for the government and license it in coordination with Al-Dura Domestic Labor Recruitment Company in order to close the chapter on defrauding citizens.

Al-Awadhi said, “The President of the Philippines graciously accepted the requests we sent to him and his government. The recruitment of domestic workers from the Philippines will be limited to Al-Durra Company.

This is due to our conviction that, it is the only solution that would preserve and protect the rights of domestic workers and, at the same time, end the systematic looting of citizens’ money by recruitment bureaus here in the country.”

He indicated that the terms in the agreement that is due to be signed are the same terms in the relevant law that was endorsed in 2013 in relation to the rights of domestic workers.

Al-Awadhi affirmed that the signing of this agreement is “a victory for citizens,” and that the statement issued in this regard affirms that the cost of recruiting domestic workers from the Philippines will become affordable again, “which is also a victory for the nation.”

The former MP thanked both governments for their efforts in this regard. He urged the Kuwaiti government and the officials in Al-Durra Company to be strict with any individual or company that attempts to circumvent or undermine the agreement, especially the domestic labor recruitment offices and human traffickers.

Meanwhile, at least 190 more Filipino workers from Kuwait returned home Tuesday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said, according to news.abc-cbn.com.

The returning Pinoys, most of whom are undocumented, arrived at the airport via Qatar Airways at around 6:15 am. The DFA said more undocumented OFWs in Kuwait availing of the Gulf state’s amnesty program will be repatriated. The government will provide financial aid and livelihood assistance for the returning OFWs. Kuwait’s amnesty program for undocumented migrant workers will end on April 22.

There are around 6,000 undocumented OFWs in Kuwait, as per data from the government. Meanwhile, the DFA has announced it is working with Saudi authorities in relation to the case of an overseas worker allegedly forced to drink household bleach by her employer, says gulf. business.com.

The abuse case is the latest to make headlines in the Gulf region after the Philippines banned its workers from being deployed to Kuwait in February over the mistreatment of workers.

Agnes Mancilla was rushed unconscious to King Fahad Central Hospital in Jizan, southwestern Saudi Arabia, on April 2 by concerned members of the Filipino community, according to the statement on April 16.

The female employer is alleged to have forced Mancilla to ingest the bleach, which was removed from her stomach through a laparotomy procedure. Doctors also found burn marks on her back, and she remains in a serious but stable condition, according to statement.

“We would like to assure our kababayans that we are working closely with authorities in Jizan to make sure that justice will be given to Agnes Mancilla,” consul general Edgar Badajos said.

He added that consulate officials had visited Mancilla in hospital and authorities in Jizan to file charges against her employer, who was later arrested. The Philippines consul pledged to regularly send representatives to follow up on the case with police and monitor the worker’s condition.

The Department of Foreign Affairs alleges Mancilla’s employer had repeatedly abused her physically since she arrived in Saudi Arabia in 2016. It also accused the employer of not paying her wages.

The working conditions of the more than two million Filipinos employed in the Middle East have come under the spotlight in recent months following several instances of abuse highlighted by President Rodrigo Duterte.

The Philippine government banned its workers from being deployed to Kuwait in February after the body of a maid was found in an apartment freezer more than a year after she was murdered.

Joanna Demafelis’ two employers, a Lebanese man and his Syrian wife, were sentenced in absentia to death by hanging by a Kuwait court this month, according to reports.

Philippine labour officials are now working with their Kuwaiti counterparts on a new agreement regulating working conditions for domestic staff. Among Duterte’s requirements are that all Filipino domestic workers will have the right to retain phones and passports, and refuse being transferred to other employers.

Source: Arab Times

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