Duterte mulls 'total ban' on OFW deployment to Kuwait

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is mulling banning the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Kuwait after being informed of cases of sexual abuse.

He voiced this on Thursday, January 18, at the launch of the OFW Bank by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE.)

“My advise is we talk to them, state the truth, and just tell them that it’s not acceptable anymore. Either we impose a total ban or we have a correction,” said Duterte.

The President spoke of 4 cases of Filipino domestic workers in Kuwait who may have been abused by their employers.

He said he did not want to generalize that sexual abuse is committed by many heads of household in the Middle East, but that he cannot ignore the cases of such abuse that reach him.

“I do not want a quarrel with Kuwait. I respect their leaders but they have to do something about this because many of the women commit suicide. They claim abuse, sexual, and they endure,” he said.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III later on told reporters that Duterte is studying a possible ban on the deployment of all types of Filipino workers, not just domestic workers.

But he is yet to receive instructions from Duterte to craft the necessary department orders. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.