Several weeks have passed since the total deployment ban of Filipino workers to Kuwait was imposed by the Philippine government following the passing of OFW Jeanelyn Villavende.
In the midst of the ban were affected people from both the Philippines and Kuwait. There are a number of Filipino workers, domestic workers, skilled and professional workers who were barred from leaving the country. As a result, employees of several recruitment agencies in Kuwait were left jobless.
Approximately 100 Filipino secretaries lost their jobs from 300 active recruitment agencies according to Kuwait Times Article
“Many secretaries working in recruitment agencies are now jobless – others are still retained by employers hoping for a redeployment of Filipino workers soon. But so far, we do not know how long the ban will last. We hope it will only be temporary,” says a secretary who works at a local recruitment agency in Hawally.
“Recruitment agencies that were piggybacking on somebody else’s licenses have completely stopped their operations. We are operating because some domestic helpers are returning to the agency, and it is part of our job to attend to their needs,” she added.
One recruitment agency, however, said that he is in favor of the deployment ban despite the decline in his business.
“Even if I don’t have a business right now, I am very much in favor of a temporary ban,” the unidentified owner said. “The Kuwaiti government should realize the value of Filipino workers – they must implement the memorandum of agreement and I am hoping fervently that with the ban, employers here realize how important it is to have them as our workers. We should treat our housemaids like members of our family; if they cannot treat them fairly, better not get any worker. They are not here to work as slaves – they are human beings too.”
When asked if he plans to remove some of his Filipino workers, he denied and said.
“No, they are under my responsibility. My business is a recruitment agency; perhaps if the ban continues, I will consider accepting domestic helpers from other countries. I am not planning to fire any of my employees.”
He also claims that his agency previously only dealt with Filipino workers as they are easy to manage.
“I noticed Filipinos are highly in demand. So we settled on recruiting Filipino workers only since Kuwaitis like them to work in their houses. They understand English well and are well-mannered. Yes, there have been some issues reported like getting into relationships with drivers or sometimes with the boss, but these are few cases. We Kuwaitis must realize they are coming here to work – we cannot generalize all of them to be like that,” he said.
Meanwhile, a secretary who works at a recruitment agency in Kuwait claims that she is having trouble financially as she is supporting two children in the Philippines.
“I am sponsoring two students in the Philippines. They are at the college level. I don’t know how to continue the support since I don’t have an extra income working as a secretary of the agency,” she said.
“I hope to get another job, but it’s not easy since we are not allowed to work in another company without the permission of the boss. I am still hoping that everything will be okay and that the ban will be lifted soon,” the Filipina added.