There are two conditions that the Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III gave to lift the deployment ban of Filipino workers to Kuwait.
According to Secretary Bello, the first condition is to attain justice for JeanelynVillavende, the latest OFW who was badly treated by her employers in Kuwait resulting in her untimely passing. The other condition is to have a standard employment contract dedicated to household service workers.
“It will stay there until we don’t get justice for Ms. Villavende and we don’t get a consensus on the standard employment contract. If we don’t get that, there will be no deployment. It should be both,” says Bello.
Furthermore, the labor secretary said that the total deployment ban was imposed following the unacceptable passing of Villavende, the attempt to whitewash the incident by providing inaccurate autopsy reports, and the Kuwaiti government’s failure to sign an agreement that finalizes the standard employment contract of household service workers. This standard employment contract was also previously tackled in 2018, during the signing of the memorandum of understanding of both the Philippines and Kuwait.
Furthermore, Bello clarified the need to include skilled and professional workers in the deployment ban.
“We don’t want to take any chance. We don’t want a repeat of the Villavende incident. After (Joanna) Demafelis and (Constancia) Dayag, we thought it will not happen anymore but here again… this is worst,” Bello said.
“We understand the sentiments of those who will be barred because of the total deployment ban, but we hope they understand our position. The deployment ban was reached in order to prevent a repeat of what happened to Villavende.”
Bello also said that sending Filipino workers in Kuwait could expose them to several dangerous encounters.