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Pinoy Abroad

PHL, Kuwait reach agreement on protection of OFWs

Passports of all overseas Filipino workers will no longer be held by their employers in Kuwait and their contracts will in accordance with Philippine laws.

These were the major agreements that the Filipino and Kuwaiti sides reached following negotiations for a memorandum of understanding meant to ensure the protection of OFWs in the gulf state.

According to Cecille Villarosa of dzBB, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said the two sides have agreed to sign the MOU in two weeks most likely in Kuwait.

The negotiations ended in a deadlock early Friday evening but an apparent breakthrough came later in the night.

Earlier, Bello said he had wanted the MOU to include a clause on the "blacklisting" of employers who were proven to abuse Filipino workers.

The Philippine negotiating team was also tasked to negotiate for the strict prohibition of the "trading" Filipino workers to other employers.

The Philippine government suspended the deployment of OFWs to Kuwait following numerous cases of abuse by their employers.

The most serious case incident was the recent discovery of Joanna Demafelis' body inside a freezer in a Kuwaiti apartment.

Prior to the grim discovery, her relatives in the Philippines said she had been missing for more than a year. Autopsy results showed she died due to severe beating allegedly at the hands of her employer.

A principal suspect and two recruitment officials involved in Demafelis' slay had been arrested  but the deployment ban on Kuwait for first-time OFWs had yet to be lifted. — Margaret Claire Layug/NB, GMA News