Over 2200 Filipinos in Kuwait want to leave: minister

OFW FROM KUWAIT- 25 Overseas Filipino Workers queue for some instructions as they arrive at NAIA 1 today morning at 6:30 am. via Philippines Airlines flight PR 669 from Kuwait. Tomorrow morning will be expected two flights more OFWs at the said ter

President Rodrigo Duterte lashed out at Kuwait on Monday over reports of Filipino workers suffering abuse and exploitation in the Gulf state, as the Philippines extended a ban on its citizens working in the country.

Duterte asked Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Friday to provide flights for Filipinos who want to leave Kuwait, after the body of a Filipino worker was found in a freezer of an abandoned apartment.

She said she has been applying for assistance from the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait since last year.A mother of five from Palawan, Montargo said she is happy that the government did not just help them to come home, but also told them they would be given cash, which they could use as capital for a small business.However, she admitted that she still wants to work overseas.

"Yung (order) to go home in 72 hours, that covers those who want to come home, it involves the 2,000 more or less na covered ng amnesty ng Kuwait".

Both PAL and Cebu Pacific said they are in coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait and concerned Philippine and foreign government authorities for the necessary requirements.

All new employment departures have been cancelled, and Duterte also said the country would be working with the national airlines to evacuate Filipino workers wanting to leave Kuwait.

The deployment ban may also extend to other Arab nations if a pending review finds that the condition of OFWs there is poor and not protected, the secretary added.

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PAL said it will be utilizing its 363 - seater Airbus A330.

"CEB will be deploying an Airbus A330 aircraft-the largest in its fleet, for the charter flight". It is the flag carrier's privilege to be of service to those in need.

Bello also said that the Philippines may reconsider its decision if Kuwait signs a memorandum of agreement guaranteeing the protection of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

Photo Filipino workers just back from Kuwait filled out paperwork on Monday at Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Kuwait authorities are looking to resolve the issue with the Filipino government and with Interpol on the case.

"A formal order on total deployment ban will be issued by Secretary (Silvestre) Bello on Monday", said DOLE Spokesperson Raul Francia on Saturday.

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