|20 May, 2019

Philippines may reimpose ban on sending workers to Kuwait

Country mulling deployment ban following the death of a Filipina maid earlier this week

A maid sweeps in front of her employers' house.

A maid sweeps in front of her employers' house.

REUTERS/STR New
 

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is looking to reimpose a ban on the deployment of household service workers (HSWs) to Kuwait, following the death of another overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in the host country early this week.

"It's an option," Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said in a text message Thursday night when asked if the government would reimpose the deployment ban on Kuwait after the death of 47-year-old Constancia Lago Dayag, an OFW from Agadanan, Isabela.

Bello said he received a report that the HSW was brought to the Al Sabah Hospital this week but was declared dead on arrival. Her body bore signs of abuse and sexual assault.

In a separate text message, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) administrator, Bernard Olalia, noted that the body's Governing Board (GB) may include the possible deployment ban in the agenda of its regular meeting.

The GB issues policies, such as deployment bans, which are related to the work of OFWs.

The POEA chief added that at the moment, there is no deployment ban on Kuwait.

Meanwhile, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) administrator, Hans Leo Cacdac, said they are ready to provide financial assistance to Dayag's family.

"We will provide death and burial benefits, as well as livelihood and scholarship support. One of her children is still studying in school," he said in a text message.

On Thursday, Bello condemned the death of the OFW.

"The horrible fate of Ms. Dayag is deeply saddening and utterly condemnable."

At the same time, Bello has directed the POEA and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Kuwait to go after the foreign and local agencies that deployed Dayag.

"Aside from apparent violation of the agreement on the protection of OFWs between our government and Kuwait, there appears to have been a breach of the employment contract by the foreign employer," he said.

The labor chief also extended his sympathies to Dayag's family.

"We shall do everything to find justice for her death," he added.

Last year, the government imposed a ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait after the discovery of the remains of 29-year-old Joanna Demafelis inside a freezer in an abandoned house in Kuwait City in February 2018.

The suspects in the case were the employers of the OFW, who were both arrested.

The ban was eventually lifted after the Philippine and Kuwaiti governments signed a memorandum of understanding, intensifying the welfare protection of Filipino workers, particularly HSWs, in the host country.

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