66 Overseas Filipino Workers return to the Philippines through the assistance of the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait as well as the Department of Foreign Affairs.
“Our efforts have brought home some 425 distressed Filipinos from Kuwait to date,” says DFA Undersecretary Sarah Lou Y. Arriola.
“Our repatriation program is part of our mandate to protect Filipinos in distress abroad.”
This is already the 8thbatch of distressed OFWs repatriated through the Embassy-Assisted Repatriation Program (EARP).
EARP is a government program that provides assistance to OFWs with expired visas or those who were badly treated by their employers. This program has a fund of approximately 1-billion pesos from the Department of Foreign Affairs. As of the moment, the Philippine Embassy has spent as much as 9.2 million for the repatriation of OFWs coming from Kuwait.
Last year, Kuwait and the Philippines signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to prioritize the welfare of Filipino workers in the Gulf country. However, after more than a year, there are allegations that the MOU was not followed and the situation of OFWs, particularly domestic helpers, is still the same. They are still being treated unfairly by their employers.
Kuwait is not the only country with rampant bad treatment among Filipino domestic helpers. The number of Filipinos in Saudi Arabia being treated unfairly by their employers is also quite alarming.