Bello Hopeful Deal Protecting OFWs In Kuwait Will Be Signed Before Ramadan

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) secretary Silvestre Bello III is hopeful that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which aims to protect overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Kuwait will be signed before the Ramadan season.

In an interview, Bello said the Philippine government is only waiting for President Rodrigo Duterte’s instructions on the date of the signing.

He said the date should be before the Ramadan season, which is expected to begin in May.

“It should be within April because once we enter May, it would be Ramadan and [Kuwaiti officials] would not be available,” Bello said.

The MOU aims to ensure that rights of OFWs are protected. The two countries decided to draft a version following the imposition of deployment ban of OFWs to Kuwait after the body of Joanna Demafelis was discovered stuffed inside a freezer in an abandoned apartment in the Gulf state.

Among the deals secured to protect the Filipino household service workers (HSWs) include a minimum monthly salary of KD120 (P20,700), 8 hours of rest per day, possession of their passports and mobile phones, and limiting their work to one household.

The MOU is among the President’s demands for the deployment ban to Kuwait to be lifted.

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