10K more Filipinos to be repatriated from Kuwait: DFA

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Cebu Pacific said in a press statement that they are now working with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait on the final travel settlements.

Duterte, who had earlier suspended deployment of mostly household service workers (HSWs) to Kuwait, moved further for a total ban on hearing more reports of abuse.

The Philippines on Monday barred its citizens from traveling to Kuwait for employment, accusing the oil-rich Gulf state of turning a blind eye to the abuse and even killing of domestic workers and other Filipinos.

On Sunday, the Philippine labor minister said more than 2,200 Filipinos were ready to take up Duterte's offer.

"That (trip) is still being studied because we are waiting for signs from Kuwait government on how they will provide justice for our countrymen who were victims of abuses in Kuwait", he said.

Calls to the Kuwaiti Embassy in Manila went unanswered on Monday.

The latest shocking case was that of Joanna Dimapilis, whose body was found in a freezer in a home in Kuwait rented by her employers, a Lebanese man and his Syrian wife.

Kuwait has declared an amnesty for Filipino workers who overstayed their visas and are working to help some 500 workers stuck in the country after a company refused to pay their salaries, Villa said.

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It's unclear how widely the order is being enforced as many Filipinos are still working across industries in Kuwait.

"Our efforts to protect our compatriots will not end with the imposition of deployment bans or the repatriation of our workers in countries where they are prone to maltreatment", Cayetano said. "If (Filipino) workers want to stay in Kuwait, the decision is theirs", he added.

Since December, there have been at least six deaths of Filipino workers in Kuwait, all under mysterious circumstances, the president said. "Our words and action simply do not match".

The Philippines also sends skilled workers to Kuwait. Duterte said on Friday that the suspension would be indefinite. I could not stomach it.

In a press briefing, Bello said ordinarily an order to ban deployment should be approved by the Governing Board of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), but due to the directive of the President that action by the board can be dispensed with subject to a ratification later.

Arman Hernando, head of Migrante-Philippines, a migrant workers' group, said the ban would serve as a wake-up call for the Kuwaiti government to respect Filipino workers.

Meanwhile, tickets for 800 OFWs - mostly domestic helpers - have been booked.

The Kuwaiti government has yet to comment on the Philippines' total OFW deployment ban to their country.

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