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Vacationing Filipinos allowed to return to Kuwait
February 14, 2018, 10:01 am

Overseas Filipino workers with jobs in Kuwait who are currently vacationing at home can now leave the Philippines, the Bureau of Immigration said Wednesday. In a statement, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said the concerned OFWs are no longer facing any "obstacle or impediment" to their return, after learning the Labor department has issued a new directive exempting 'Balik Manggagawa' passengers from the Kuwait deployment ban.

BI personnel had prevented more than a hundred passengers from leaving for Kuwait pending the Department of Labor and Employment's decision, said the statement.

Kuwaiti-bound Filipinos with short-term, non-working visas are also not covered by the ban, it added.

Labor chief Silvestre Bello III on Monday announced a total ban of OFW deployment to Kuwait, shortly after a Filipina was found dead in a freezer in an abandoned apartment unit. This discovery was the latest in a string of reports of abuses, some resulting in deaths of OFWs allegedly in the hands of their employers in the Gulf state.

OFW deployment to Kuwait was earlier suspended.

Morente, according to the statement, has instructed BI port operations division chief Marc Red Mariñas to ensure the proper documentation and the immigration departure formalities of the Filipino workers returning to Kuwait.

New recruits, Morente said, are still prohibited from leaving for Kuwait. Mariñas said BI officers are ordered to employ "stricter screening procedures and rigid inspection of all departing passengers."

"It is imperative that our immigration officers exercise extra vigilance in order to thwart attempts by the illegal recruiters and human trafficking syndicates to circumvent the ban by employing all sorts of dirty schemes,” he said in the statement.

Source: GMA News

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