Around 10,000 Filipino domestic workers who were bound for Kuwait during the first quarter of 2020 are now seeking alternative destinations following a partial ban implemented by the Philippines last week.
Under the ban issued by the Philippines Overseas Employment Administration, which took effect on January 3, Filipinos seeking employment in Kuwait are no longer allowed to process their documents, local daily Kuwait Times reported.
However, officials clarified that the regulation only covers first-time domestic helpers, who are now not allowed to come to Kuwait.
Those already working in the Gulf state will be allowed to return to the same employers if they travel on vacation.
The ban was issued after a Filipina maid in Kuwait was allegedly killed following abuse by her employers in late December.
Bernard Olalia, administrator of the POEA, said in Manila that efforts were underway to find alternate jobs destinations for those affected.
“We advised them to upgrade their skills so they can be competitive. We want to upgrade their skills so that they no longer seek employment as domestic helpers. We know how hard it is to work inside a stranger’s house, so we want to help them,” he was quoted as saying.
Olalia also urged recruitment agencies to constantly monitor the condition of the workers they have deployed abroad.
The DFA also said continuing incidents of violence and abuse of Filipino domestic workers in Kuwait “violated the spirit of the agreement signed in May 2018 that seeks to promote and protect their welfare”.
In February 2018, the Philippines had imposed a similar ban on sending domestic workers to Kuwait due to increasing incidents of abuse against Filipina maids.
The ban was lifted after the Philippines and Kuwait signed an agreement to protect overseas Filipino workers in May.