Early morning of February 1, 2018, a group of 39 OFWs had arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport from Kuwait through Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight PR669.
In a report made by GMA 7’s Dobol B sa News TV, at about 7:40am, the group of the overseas Filipino workers was finally home after being granted with amnesty by the Kuwait government.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III expressed that the amnesty was a manifestation of Kuwait’s good will to many undocumented OFWs including those that escaped from their abusive employers. He also confirmed that more than 300 OFWs were still expected to be repatriated from the Middle East.
Some OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) officials and the agency’s deputy administrator Arnel Ignacio welcomed the overseas workers at the airport. The agency is also expected to assist the OFWs in processing the documents needed so they may be able to go home to their respective provinces.
Looking back, it was in the middle of January this year when President Rodrigo Duterte instructed DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) to temporarily suspend the deployment of OFWs to Kuwait due to series of mysterious deaths and abuse cases of Filpinos in the Middle East.
On January 19, Sec. Bello III officially announced the temporary ban on deployment of overseas workers to Kuwait, basing the decision to maltreatment and abuse cases leading to unexplainable deaths of the OFWs.
Meanwhile, Kuwaiti officials have previously appealed and negotiated for the lifting of the ban. This was however denied by Sec. Bello III.