Vacationing OFWs exempted from Kuwait ban – BI

February 14, 2018 - 8:41 AM
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A fishing boat sails past the Kuwait City skyline. (Reuters file)

MANILA, Philippines — Overseas Filipino workers vacationing from their jobs in Kuwait are exempted from the recently announced deployment ban to the Middle East state, the Bureau of Immigration announced Wednesday, February 14, after earlier preventing more than a hundred workers from leaving.

A statement said Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente ordered that returning workers be allowed to leave for Kuwait after learning the Department of Labor and Employment had issued a new directive exempting “Balik Manggagawa” passengers from the deployment ban, which President Rodrigo Duterte ordered over the abuse suffered by Filipinos, particularly women.

Filipinos with short-term no-working visas are also not covered by the deployment ban.

Morente also ordered BI port operations chief Marc Red Mariñas “to make sure that the OFWs returning to Kuwait are properly documented and subjected to the usual immigration departure formalities.”

“Earlier, BI personnel at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport were compelled to defer the departure of more than a hundred OFWs to Kuwait as they awaited the DOLE’s decision on their fate,” the BI said.

However, Morente stressed that new hires will not be allowed to leave.

Kuwait has slammed the deployment ban and the repatriation of Filipinos ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte over the abuse of workers, particularly women, warning it could damage relations between the two countries.