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PH, Kuwait agree on draft deal for OFW protection

Kuwaiti officials finally agreed to ensure that the Filipino workers keep their passports instead of surrendering them to their employers and acknowledge employment contracts based on Philippine law.

Representatives from both countries have finalized the draft for a memorandum of understanding for the protection of migrant workers amid a string of reported deaths and maltreatment of Philippine workers in the Gulf state.

The talks came after the Department of Labor and Employment enforced a total ban on the deployment of overseas Filipino workers to the Gulf state on President Rodrigo Duterte’s orders.

This was prompted by reported deaths of Filipino domestic workers there, including that of Iloilo native Joanna Demafelis.

The murder of 29-year-old Demafelis, whose body was found in a freezer in an abandoned apartment in February, prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to declare the ban.

Demafelis’ Syrian-Lebanese employers are in custody over her death.

Bello earlier announced the deployment ban would only be lifted once an agreement on better safeguards for Filipino workers has been reached with Kuwait.

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