On Monday, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) signed an administrative order enforcing total deployment ban of Filipino workers in the Gulf state. Around 8,000 or 80 percent of them are domestic workers.
Just last week, the government confirmed that the body found in a freezer in a vacant apartment in Kuwait was that of a Filipina.
The first task force, headed by Labour Undersecretary Dominado Say, was tasked to handle the repatriation of OFWs pursuant to the directive of the president to repatriate them within 72 hours. Demafelis' family members have sought the help of the Philippine government in the quest for justice for the victim.
China needs 100,000 English teachers, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said Tuesday, as the Philippines eyed Beijing as an alternative market for migrant workers repatriated from Kuwait.
The ones now being repatriated are those who availed themselves of the amnesty program for overstaying Filipino nationals that the Kuwaiti government approved last month.
The DOLE official said they still have to thresh out other details, specifically on the workers that would be covered by the order. "PAL is more than ready to mount extra flights to Kuwait, as needed", Philippine Airlines said. "We will also go after illegal recruiters, human traffickers and other modern-day slave traders who continue to victimise our people". According to Gulf News, the new policy applies to all overseas Filipino workers.
Filipino workers suffer from racial discrimination worldwide.
"The Embassy and POLO in Kuwait expect that more than 10,000 Filipinos who have overstayed their visas are qualified for repatriation", Arriola said.
Aside from shouldering the cost of the airfare, the Philippine government shall also settle the immigration penalties of overstaying Filipinos.
OWWA is now processing papers for Demafelis' insurance and burial coverage, including livelihood assistance for her family, an official said, adding that Filipino officials overseas did their best to locate Demafelis since 2017, but failed because her recruitment agency had closed its office. "Kuwait, under worldwide law, has a legal obligation to provide legal redress for the victims, Filipino victims of these horrendous crimes in Kuwait", Roque said during a Palace press briefing.
The president said he could assure Filipino workers that the government has the necessary resources to look after them on their return home, and underscored that the decision and the urgency with which it was implemented were for the protection of OFWs.
Cacdac said that while the Philippines has general bilateral agreements with Kuwait, the two nations have none on Filipino workers.
The Kuwaiti government has yet to comment on the Philippines' total OFW deployment ban to their country.