Over 2200 Filipinos in Kuwait want to leave: minister

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Last year, the Philippines also received grim news after the Kuwaiti government carried the death penalty on Jakatia Pawa, a migrant worker in Kuwait who was accused and sentenced to death even after appealing innocence for the 2007 murder of her employer's daughter.

More than 250,000 Filipinos work in Kuwait, the Philippine Foreign Ministry estimates, most as domestic helpers.

According to the agency, the amnesty program was approved by the Kuwaiti government in January 2018 upon representations made by the Philipine government through the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait.

Photo Filipino workers just back from Kuwait filled out paperwork on Monday at Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport. More than 2.3 million Filipinos are documented as working overseas.

Mr. Duterte reached PAL and Cebu Pacific for the request on Friday, February 9, at a press conference in Davao, where the President himself expressed contempt over the death of a Filipina domestic worker later identified as Joana Daniela Demafelis, who was discovered inside a freezer at an abandoned apartment in Kuwait.

This is the fourth batch of OFWs who were repatriated amid a deployment ban issued by the Department of Labor and Employment in compliance with the order of President Duterte to stop sending workers to Kuwait.

A DFA source said only Undersecretary Ernesto Abella is authorized to speak about the issue of repatriation from Kuwait.

Kuwait's embassy in Manila declined to comment.

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An average of 5,000 HSWs were deployed weekly in 2017, and the total number is expected to surpass the 2016 figure.

Citing figures from the DOLE, Cayetano said HSWs now comprise 60 percent of the total new hires, with another 40 percent comprising the skilled and professional workers.

OWWA added that more than 800 undocumented Filipino workers in Kuwait were scheduled to come home.

The Philippines is one of the primary sources of domestic workers overseas, including Singapore, China's Hong Kong and Middle East countries like Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

He said that, if the ban to Kuwait continues, "there will be a dramatic drop in dollar remittances amounting to over $1.3 billion because of the over 270,000 documented workers now in Kuwait".

"These countries are host to an estimated 1.5 million Filipinos that bring in the bulk of our dollar remittances yearly to nearly $28 billion", Geslani said.

Filipinos in China work mostly for multinational companies, including diplomats stationed in Beijing and other cities, including executive officers of large Chinese companies and ranking government officials.

Cebu Pacific Air will also send a plane to Kuwait to bring home more distressed OFWs while PAL is willing to add extra flights to Kuwait as needed. Most of the abuse has been reported among household service workers.