Not one worker deployed to Kuwait despite accord

Published July 23, 2018, 12:37 PM

by iManila Developer

By Ariel Fernandez

No deployment of domestic workers has been made to Kuwait since the lifting of the ban two months ago-thousands of applicants are ready to depart.

OFW FROM KUWAIT - 25 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) 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. (Feb.11,2918) (photo by Manny Llanes)
(Photo by Manny Llanes / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Although Labor migration expert Manny Geslani said almost 5,000 OFWs depart daily through NAIA Terminals in Pasay for overseas jobs all over the world and most of these OFWS are re-hires or balik-bayans returning to their contracts with employers mostly in the Middle East. Around 1,500-2,000 are new hires or seafarers and hundreds of Household Service Workers or domestic workers for the Middle East countries of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain or Hong Kong.

However, Geslani said that despite the lifting of the total ban of workers to Kuwait since May 16, 2018 by President Rodrigo Duterte or approximately 65 days ago, no household service worker has been deployed to Kuwait since implementing guidelines issued last July 19, 2018 are not yet enforceable from the POEA which would govern the rules for the deployment of HSWs to Kuwait as soon as possible.

Kuwait and the Philippines signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Kuwait last May 12, 2018, in the presence of DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III and high ranking officials from Kuwait. The two countries had agreed on measures to regulate employment following a diplomatic row over alleged abuse of workers.

Soon after, President Duterte ordered the “total lifting” of the ban on May 16, 2018 for all types of workers to Kuwait which included skilled workers and household service workers.

However after 60 days the private sector is still waiting for the guidelines to be enforceable after the publication 15 days from the date signed by POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia from the POEA on the new rules which would spell out the provisions of the MOU that include a new unified contract of employment for HSWs to be agreed upon by the Philippines and Kuwait

Bello has issued the administrative orders lifting the ban for domestic workers and the POEA has issued Memorandum Circular No. 10 spelling out numerous requirements for Private Recruitment Agencies (PRAs) and their counterpart Foreign Placement Agencies (FPAs) like the setting up of an escrow account with the minimum account of $ 10,000 USD. Several applicants recruited by the private recruitment agencies deploying to Kuwait have been cooling their heels in Manila waiting for the guidelines to be implemented by the POEA and several more thousands in the provinces are looking forward to the normalization of deployment of HSWs to Kuwait.

Meanwhile, the POEA has sternly warned recruitment agencies, accredited language centers, and some non-; licensed centers to stop the recruitment of caregivers to Japan with the issuance of an advisory. It was learned that many recruitment agencies who are associated with recruitment associations whose market is Japan have been training caregivers and care assistants for Japan market under the Japan Technical Intern Training Program.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration warned applicants seeking overseas employment to be wary of unauthorized persons or groups who are promising various jobs in Japan.

The POEA said only licensed recruitment agencies on the list are qualified as Sending Organization for the Japan Technical Intern Training Program (TITP).