Filipino workers from Kuwait arrive in Manila

OFW FROM KUWAIT- 25 Overseas Filipino Workers arrive at NAIA 1 today morning at 6:30 am. via Philippines Airlines flight PR 669 from Kuwait. Tomorrow morning will be expected two flights more OFWs at the said terminal according to OWWA officers. (F

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) and low-priced airline Cebu Pacific have heeded President Rodrigo Roa Duterte's call to transport Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Kuwait who wish to be repatriated back to the Philippines, following the recent death of an OFW whose body was tracked down inside a freezer.

"That is the directive of the president, and by tomorrow, I'm going to issue the order", Bello told local radio DZMM in an interview. However, those who wish to stay in Kuwait will be allowed to do so.

Bello, for his part, assured Filipino workers who would be repatriated from Kuwait, as well as those who would be affected by the ban that they will be assisted in finding alternative employment in the Philippines or overseas.

A DFA source said only Undersecretary Ernesto Abella is authorized to speak about the issue of repatriation from Kuwait.

Last Friday, Duterte hit out at Kuwait as he brandished photos reportedly of a Filipina maid found in a freezer, saying she had been "roasted like a pig". According to the report, the results of preliminary investigations indicate Joanna might have been tortured and strangled while the exact date of death has yet to be determined.

Duterte also implored the Kuwaiti government and to the Arab nations to protect the Filipinos working in their countries.

This came after Duterte instructed Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to arrange the repatriation of Filipinos who want to come home within 72 hours.

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Cebu Pacific said in a press statement that they are now working with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait on the final travel settlements.

As this developed, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) vowed to strictly carry out President Duterte's directive to prevent more workers from reaching the Gulf state.

He said that, if the ban to Kuwait continues, "there will be a dramatic drop in dollar remittances amounting to over $1.3 billion because of the over 270,000 documented workers now in Kuwait".

Unexplained deaths were also reported in the Gulf state involving Filipino household service workers.

'We are outraged by this latest terrible crime against our overseas Filipino workers, ' he added. "We will also go after illegal recruiters, human traffickers and other modern-day slave traders who continue to victimize our people".

The association announced it is drawing up recommendations for a more effective delivery of services to OFWs, not just in Kuwait but the entire world.

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