MANILA — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is set to come out this week with its decision on whether to continue or lift the ban on the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Kuwait.
DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III noted that whatever decision they will be issuing would be in close coordination with President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Anytime this week, we will also be coming out with our decision on whether to make the suspension a ban or to lift it depending upon the report of our labor attache. Of course, in close coordination with the Office of the President because the final say will come from our president,” he said.
At the same time, the DOLE chief appealed to would-be OFWs to be patient as the government is ensuring their safety and welfare before they deploy them to the host country.
“We have to appeal to our future OFWs, who have pending application for overseas employment certificate (OECs) to wait for more time because I want to be very sure that if we will deploy them in Kuwait they will be in safe hands,” he said.
Bello pointed out that the abuse and maltreatment does not only happen to household service workers (HSWs).
“The issue about abuse, maltreatment of our OFWs in Kuwait is not limited to HSWs. It applies to all OFWS in Kuwait,” he said.
“(It’s not isolated) That’s correct. Hindi naman pinipili ‘yung minamaltrato. (Those who are maltreated aren’t selected.) Hindi lang issue of maltreatment, meron din halimbawa, hindi tamang sahod. (This is not just about the issue of maltreatment. For instance, there are cases where some are underpaid.) Meron din complaint na (There are also complaints that) they are required to work beyond the hours as stated in their contracts so maramingissues dito (There are many issues here.),” Bello added.
DOLE figure showed that there about 2,000 to 3,000 applications for deployment of OFWs a day.
Earlier, the government suspended the processing of OECs for workers bound for Kuwait due to the reported deaths of several OFWs in the said country.