Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III today ordered the suspension of deployment of workers to Kuwait following the deaths of seven overseas Filipino workers in the Gulf state.
In Administrative Oder No. 25, Bello directed the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to stop the processing and issuance of overseas employment certificates (OECs) to all Kuwait-bound workers pending the investigation of the cause of deaths of the Filipino workers.
“We would like to seek justice for our OFWs, and while the investigation is undergoing, we are suspending the processing and issuance of OECs. We are doing this for utmost protection and welfare of our kababayan,” Bello said.
The Order took effect immediately after its issuance.
The seven Pinoy workers who died in Kuwait were Liezl Truz Hukdong, Vanessa Karissha L. Esguerra, Marie Fe Saliling Librada, Arlene Castillo Manzano, Devine Riche Encarnacion, Patrick Sunga, and Mira Luna Juntilla.
All of the identified Filipina migrant workers were household services workers, and most of them were deployed in 2016.
The ban came on the heels of President Duterte’s statement during the launching of the Overseas Filipino Bank on Wednesday to impose a total ban on the deployment of overseas Filipino workers, particularly household workers to Kuwait following reports of sexual abuses.