Duterte orders lifting of total deployment ban in Kuwait

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the lifting of the total deployment ban on Filipino workers to Kuwait, a Palace official said on Wednesday.

“Upon recommendation of Special Envoy to Kuwait Abdullah Mama-o, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte tonight instructed Secretary Silvestre Bello to totally lift the ban on deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement.

This came a day after the Philippine government  implemented the partial lifting of the deployment ban  of skilled and semi-skilled workers to Kuwait after the two nations forged a deal to protect Filipino migrant workers in the Gulf state.

In February, Duterte ordered a total ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait.

The move came after a string of reported deaths and abuses of Filipino workers in the Gulf state, including Joanna Demafelis, whose body was found in a freezer.

On Saturday, Roque also announced that the relationship of the two nations  returned to normal after a diplomatic row over the treatment of Filipino workers.

The labor deal was also put in limbo after Philippine officials rescued a distressed Filipino worker in Kuwait in April, which caused a diplomatic fallout with the Gulf State’s officials. The spat also led Kuwait to expel Philippine Ambassador Renato Villa from the country.

Kuwait is a top destination for overseas Filipino workers, with some 260,000 Filipinos working there as of 2018. Remittances from Kuwait for the first two months of this year amounted to P5.5 billion, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

In 2017, a total of P42 billion were remitted from the Gulf state.

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