Duterte to personally plead for Kuwait OFWs

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte orders Filipinos back from Kuwait

Furious Duterte upholds OFW ban to Kuwait, says the Filipino is 'no slave'

Duterte made the statement on Friday night even as the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is set to implement a total ban on the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Kuwait on Monday.

The Philippines government has come under more pressure to stop sending domestic workers overseas, with a prominent columnist arguing they should be retrained to fill gaps in professional skills at home.

Duterte plans to talk with Kuwaiti officials after the series of deaths of Filipinos who were working there.

The Chief Executive said he can not divulge what was discussed during their closed-door meeting but he said that he is planning to visit the Gulf State to appeal the plight of OFWs in Kuwait. "But if a ban is what is needed, then let it be so", Duterte said in a press briefing at Matina Enclave, Davao City on Friday.

The abuse of many Filipino women workers are often Duterte's topic in his speeches.

The President also said the Philippines was always ready to protect Kuwait from Iraq during the Gulf War and wondered why the Kuwaiti government is unable to protect OFWs.

Last week, Secretary Silvestre Bello of the Department of Labour and Employment reported the discovery of the dead body of Filipina domestic worker Joanna Daniela Dimapilis, 29, of the town of Sara in Iloilo province in the Visayas in Central Philippines.

"We went there. We were enthusiastic".

"We are doing this for utmost protection and welfare of our Kababayan", Bello said.

"We will count our lives by the hours because apparently, every hour, there is a suffering and agony, brutality committed [on] Filipinos", the President said. "And you seem to be oblivious about it", he continued.

"We do not intend to offend any government or anyone".

Based on the data, there were a total of 82 reported deaths of OFWs in 2016 and 103 previous year.

He has been angered by stories of Filipinos in Kuwait being driven to suicide due to abuse.

He added, "The ban continues today and I don't know until what time".

He said the country's airlines will fly Filipinos home free-of-charge if they can't afford a ticket.

"It compels us to ask what we in the government has been doing all these years to give justice to them".

"We support the President's ban on OFW deployment to Kuwait".

"I want them out of the country, those who want to go out, in 72 hours". In radio interview Saturday, Villar said she "agrees" with the President in imploring Kuwaiti government to act on the deaths Filipina domestic workers in the hands of their employers.

"Of course we need the help of Kuwait", Duterte conceded.

"So that the Duterte administration will have additional options on how to save our fellow Filipinos from slavery and human trafficking and be more effective in the delivery of services to OFWs not just in Kuwait but worldwide", said Araneta in a statement. "In fact, the valedictorian of the recent batch is a woman", she said.

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