Robredo calls for bilateral deal to protect OFWs in Kuwait

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Robredo calls for bilateral deal to protect OFWs in Kuwait
Vice President Leni Robredo supports the Duterte administration's ban on the deployment of workers to Kuwait, citing incidents of abuse there

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo expressed support for President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to ban the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Kuwait, as she pushed for the signing of a bilateral agreement that would protect workers in the Arab country.

Robredo made the pronouncements on Sunday, February 11, during her weekly radio show on RMN dzXL.

“I think the President’s decision is right. It’s a very strong statement on the violence that’s been happening,” she said.

Duterte made the move following the discovery of a Filipina’s body in a freezer in Kuwait. (READ: Duterte lashes out at Kuwait over mistreatment of Filipino workers)

The remains of Joanna Daniella Demafelis, who flew to Kuwait as a domestic worker, are believed to have been in storage for over a year. Kuwait is investigating Demafelis’ death.

Duterte said he would visit Kuwait to speak with their leaders. (READ: Kuwait ‘bewildered’ by PH’s deployment ban – report)

During Robredo’s radio show, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Administrator Hans Cacdac said a draft bilateral agreement for the protection of OFWs has already been sent to Kuwait.

Robredo said she hopes the agreement would be signed when Duterte visits the Middle Eastern country.

And while some Filipinos working in Kuwait have already returned home, the Vice President said the remaining OFWs should be given guaranteed protections.

“I hope Duterte’s visit would put pressure on Kuwait to sign the deal. Because the reality is, the Filipinos who are there and who aren’t being abused don’t want to come back home because they’re thinking about their employment. So we have to make sure that those who remain are protected,” she said.

Philippine Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Kuwaiti Ambassador to the Philippines Saleh Ahmad Althwaikh, who had earlier met with Duterte, have vowed to fast-track the signing of the agreement. (READ: Experts divided on OFW deployment ban to Kuwait–

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