The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) had given an ultimatum to the labor attache in Kuwait to investigate on the deaths of OFWs in the country. Secretary Silvestre Bello III revealed that investigation is going on and they demand that truth is established to verify the death cases of the Filipino overseas workers.
The instruction came after President Rodrigo Duterte clearly announced on Wednesday that there will be a total ban of OFWs to Kuwait if proven that the cause of deaths of OFWs in Kuwait is due to violence, maltreatment or abused by employers. This includes those that had been victims of rape and those that had committed suicide.
According to Bello, he had given the labor attache a period of 7 to 15 days to conduct the investigation and come up with an accurate report. He also announced that there were negotiations between the representative of Kuwait and the Philippines. He said that they had met twice and was able to explain the reason for the suspension of OECs (overseas employment certificate) due to pending investigation being conducted following numerous death of Filipino workers.
Bello shared that the ambassador in Kuwait had appealed for the lifting of the total ban in Kuwait. However, Bello said the finality of the suspension will be based on the outcome of the investigation.
On the other hand, the DOLE Secretary expressed disappointment after the proposed agreement on the added protection of OFWs in Kuwait had not yet signed after it had been passed for a long time.
“Angtagalna nun, hindinilapinipirmahan, hindinilabinibigyanngpansin.”
Meanwhile, the DOLE is also looking after the agencies who had brought the OFWs who were victims of abuse and maltreatment by their employers back home to the Philippines.
Bello then strictly emphasized that his department will not permit an agency to send an overseas worker to Kuwait with employees who had been victims of any form of violence from Kuwaiti employers.