Palace mulls review of MOA on OFWs with Kuwait

Published May 20, 2019, 3:29 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Argyll Geducos 

Malacañang agreed that there is a need to review the memorandum of agreement (MOA) that the Philippine government signed with Kuwait following the death of another overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in the gulf state.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the statement after it was reported that Filipino household service worker Constancia Lago Dayag was allegedly physically and sexually assaulted.

In his Monday press briefing, Panelo agreed with Migrante that the MOA should be reviewed but said they will first wait for the recommendation of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.

“I think we should because according to Secretary Bello there has been a breach in the agreement signed by the two countries. We will wait for the report of Secretary Bello regarding this incident,” he said.

“He (Bello) is putting the government of Kuwait to task for the murder of our countryman. So he is investigating it and the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) is waiting for an autopsy report,” he added.

According to reports, Dayag, 47, a native of Agadanan, Isabela, was rushed to the Al Sabah Hospital on Tuesday noon last week where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

Dayag reportedly bore bruises and contusions. She was also said to have been sexually abused.

In February last year, Duterte lashed out at the Kuwaiti government after learning about the death of domestic worker Joanna Demafelis, who was found dead inside a freezer in an abandoned apartment a year after she was reported missing.

Demafelis’ death prompted Duterte to order a total deployment ban of new OFWs to Kuwait and said that he will only lift the ban if Kuwait agrees to signing the document that aims to protect OFWs from abusive employers.

In May last year, the Philippines and Kuwait signed the Memorandum of Agreement and agreed to all of Duterte’s conditions which include overseas Filipino workers getting a fay-off, be able to cook their own meal, get at least seven hours of sleep, have their own cellphones, and their passports not confiscated.

A month after, Duterte apologized to Kuwait for lashing out and said that he will take a commercial flight to the gulf state to personally thank them for signing the agreement.