Deployment ban in Kuwait also covers returning domestic workers – Bello
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines will also ban the deployment of vacationing household service workers to Kuwait and not only new ones as initially announced, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said.
“Initially, I was inclined to exempt yung mga (the) balik-manggagawa dahil ito yung mga nagbakasyon e. But in consultation with the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) they suggested that we include even the balik-manggagawa,” Bello said in an interview with CNN Philippines’ “The Source” on Friday.
“Ito yung mga nagbakasyon during the holidays (These are workers who went on vacation during the holidays). So if they go back now they will be affect by this partial ban,” he added.
Bello noted that skilled workers and professionals will not be covered by the ban.
In a separate interview, Bello assured workers covered by the said ban that their employment contracts will not be affected.
“Matutuloy naman yan kung saka-sakaling ma-lift itong partial deployment ban. Matutuloy rin sila. Kailangan sila ng employer nila,” he said in an interview with dzMM.
(They will still be able to continue working once the partial deployment ban is lifted. They will still be able to work. Their employers need them).
“Alam naman ng employer nila na hindi nila (workers) kagustuhan yan. Epekto ito ng isang insidente na nagpapakita na hindi naman napo-protektahan ng mga employers. Yung ating mga kababayan na pinapadala sa kanila para pagsilbihan sila, yun pala e pinapatay sila,” he added.
(Their employers know that this was not the workers’ choice. This was an effect of an incident which showed that employers are not able to protect our workers. We deploy our workers to them to serve them and yet they end up getting killed).
The recent death of Jeanalyn Villavende, who was allegedly killed in the hands of her employer, triggered the partial ban on the deployment of household workers to Kuwait.
Citing preliminary reports from the Philippine labor attaché in Kuwait, Bello earlier said that Villavende was allegedly beaten to death.
Nurses who attended to her also reported that she was brought to the hospital “black and blue.”
In February 2018, the Philippines imposed a total deployment ban on Kuwait after authorities found inside a freezer the body of domestic help Joanna Demafelis, who was killed by her employers.
The ban was lifted three months later after Manila and Kuwait signed an agreement on the protection of overseas Filipino workers.
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