Palace: Total deployment ban to Kuwait to remain in force until pact on OFW protection implemented

(Eagle News) — The Palace on Thursday, Jan. 16, said the total ban on the deployment of Overseas Filipino Workers in Kuwait will remain until the terms in the agreement on the protection of OFWs signed between the Philippine and the Middle Eastern country’s governments are followed.

“Until such time [that] the terms of the MOA [memorandum of agreement] are incorporated in each labor contract between the employer and the employee, the [total deployment] ban remains,” Panelo said.

Panelo issued the statement a day after the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency formally approved the total deployment ban covering household service workers, semi-skilled workers, skilled workers and professionals.

Exempted from the ban were returning professionals and returning skilled workers.

The ban was imposed following the killing of OFW Jeanelyn Villavende, whose remains arrived in the country last week.

She was reportedly killed by her employer’s wife.

An autopsy also found she had been sexually abused, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said.

In 2018, the Philippine government imposed a total deployment ban on OFWs to the Middle Eastern country following the death of OFW Joanna Demafelis, whose body was found in a freezer.

The government, however, lifted the ban months later following the signing of the pact between the two countries.

Among the provisions in the pact were a prohibition ban on the confiscation of the OFW’s passport by the employer and the mandatory day-off.