News Release
Department of Labor and Employment
January 2, 2020

Partial deployment ban to Kuwait set

The government is set to impose a partial ban on the deployment of household service workers to Kuwait, Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III announced yesterday.

At the same time, Bello said the local placement agency that sent Jeanelyn Villavende to the Gulf estate faces possible cancellation of its license for its failure to act on her request for repatriation months prior to her brutal death in the hands of her Kuwaiti employer.

Bello said the partial ban was recommended by Labor Attache Nasser Mustafa and subject to the approval of the governing board of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). Bello is chair of the POEA board.

Bello said the ban will cover only first time workers who will serve as household service workers to Kuwait, and excludes skilled and vacationing workers.

“This should serve as a clear message to Kuwaiti authorities. The partial ban may ripen into total deployment ban if justice for Jeanelyn Villavende is not met,” Bello said.

Based on preliminary reports submitted by Mustafa of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Kuwait, Villevende was beaten to death, and was already dead when brought to a hospital. Attending nurses reported that she was ‘black and blue.’

“We will also ask Villavende’s recruitment agency to explain their inaction. As early as September, she already complained about maltreatment and underpayment of salary. She also repeatedly requested the agency for repatriation, but they did not do anything,” Bello said.

Villavende’s family was last able to talk to her in October. On December 13, the family again called Jeanelyn but her female employer was the one who answered the call and said that the OFW was busy.

The exact date of Villavende’s death is yet to be determined after the autopsy. The employer is currently detained in Kuwait.

Overseas Workers Welfare Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac, who went to Norala, South Cotabato to condole with Villavende’s family, said that death and burial benefits will be extended to the OFW, while her family will receive livelihood assistance and educational scholarship for her youngest sibling.

END/aldm

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Partial deployment ban kasado sa Kuwait

 

Nakatakda nang magpatupad ang pamahalaan ng partial ban sa pagpapadala ng mga household service workers sa Kuwait, ayon sa anunsyo ni Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III.

 

Kasabay nito, sinabi ni Bello na ang local placement agency na siyang nagpadala kay Jeanelyn Villavende sa nasabing bansa ay posibleng maharap sa kanselasyon ng lisensya dahil sa pagkabigo na tugunan ang hiling niya na repatriation ilang buwan bago pa ang brutal na pagkamatay niya sa kamay ng Kuwaiti employer.

 

Sinabi ni Bello na ang partial ban ay inirekomenda ni Labor Attache Nasser Mustafa at dadaan sa approval ng governing board ng Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). Si Bello ang chair ng POEA board.

 

Dagdag pa ng kalihim, saklaw lamang ng ban ang mga first time na manggagawa na magtatrabaho bilang household service worker sa Kuwait, at hindi kasama rito ang mga skilled at nagbabakasyong manggagawa.

 

“Magsisilbi itong malinaw na mensahe sa mga Kuwaiti authorities. Ang partial ban ay maaaring magresulta sa isang total deployment ban kung hindi mabibigyan ng hustisya ang pagkamatay ni Jeanelyn Villavende,” wika ni Bello.

 

Batay sa inisyal na ulat na isinumite ni Mustafa ng Philippine Overseas Labor Office sa Kuwait, si Villavende ay binugbog hanggang sa bawian ng buhay, at patay na nang dalhin sa ospital. Iniulat ng mga attending nurse na siya ay ‘black and blue’ na nang masuri sa ospital.

 

“Hihingin namin ang paliwanag ng recruitment agency ni Villavende kaugnay sa kanilang hindi pagtugon sa kanyang kaso. Buwan pa lamang ng Setyembre nang magreklamo na siya kaugnay ng pangmamaltrato at underpayment sa kanyang suweldo. Paulit ulit na rin aniya siyang humingi ng tulong sa agency para sa repatriation subalit wala silang ginawa,” ayon kay Bello.

 

Oktubre pa nang huling makausap ng kanyang pamilya si Villavende. Noong Disyembre 13, muling tumawag ang kanyang pamilya kay Jeanelyn subalit ang babaeng employer niya ang sumagot ng tawag at sinabing abala sa trabaho ang OFW.   

 

Inaalam pa ang tiyak na araw ng pagkamatay ni Villavende sa tulong ng autopsy. Ang kanyang employer ay kasalukuyang nakapiit sa Kuwait.

 

Nagtungo na si Overseas Workers Welfare Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac sa Norala, South Cotabato upang ipaabot ang pakikiramay sa pamilya ni Villavende at sinabing magbibigay ng death at burial benefit sa OFW, habang ang kanyang pamilya ay makatatanggap ng livelihood assistance at educational scholarship para sa kanyang nakababatang kapatid.

 

END/aldm/ Paul Ang

 

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