UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — The Philippines has banned the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) to Kuwait.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is enforcing the ban following a directive by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The order comes after authorities found the body of a Filipina worker inside her employer’s freezer in Kuwait. The government has also been investigating seven cases of OFWs killed in the Gulf state.
Since Feb. 12, hundreds of OFWs have been repatriated back to Manila. A total of around 2,000 workers are expected to return this week, many of whom claim to have suffered abuse from employers.
An estimated 250,000 Filipinos work in Kuwait.
DOLE says it might lift the deployment ban if it could reach to an agreement with Kuwait that could better protect OFWs from abuse.
In the meantime, DOLE is helping the repatriated workers find jobs in alternative markets such as China, Russia, Oman and Bahrain.