With the ongoing initiatives by the Kuwaiti government to level the workforce in both the public and private sector, there seems to be little attention left for the domestic workers in the country.
Aside from the recent issue revolving around the death of a Filipina HSW, which to this day, has not been given the final verdict, domestic workers in Kuwait, remain for the most part, out of the radar – besides the occasional cases of abuse and violence headlining the news.
Kuwaiti Gov’t, Ph Embassy Tie Up to Repatriate 45 Distressed OFWs
However, in a recent update from the Department of Foreign Affairs, at least 45 undocumented and distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in Kuwait were repatriated by the Philippine Embassy.
The fourth batch of OFWs that have been repatriated for this year did not spend any penny as they were provided a one-way plane ticket. About 23 of 45 were also provided with one-way tickets from Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila to their respective provinces.
Other forms of welfare assistance were given to the Filipino repatriates, such as land transportation from the Embassy to Kuwait International Airport, and food provisions.
According to Embassy officials, the repatriation was done through the Embassy Assisted Repatriation Program (EARP), a joint effort of the Philippine Embassy and the Kuwaiti government which help Filipinos who were charged with absconding or had expired visa cases at the Immigration Department, without having to be detained, to go home.
Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Mohd. Noordin Pendosina N. Lomondot said, “I am very thankful to the Illegal Residency Monitoring and Immigration Departments of Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior for the invaluable assistance they have provided the Embassy. I would also like to thank the dynamic and resilient officers and staff of the Philippine Embassy for their commitment and dedication in making EARP successful.”
Furthermore, Chargé d’Affaires Lomondot explained that the EARP with the Kuwaiti government “will continue all year round, as long as there are undocumented and distressed Filipinos who want to be repatriated back home.”
According to the Embassy report, 44 OFWs were repatriated on February 13, this year, followed by another 44 on March 7 and the latest batch of 68 was sent home on April 11.
This accounts for a total of 201 OFWs who were brought back home by the Embassy this year.
The EARP’s fund was sourced from the PHP 1 billion Assistance to Nationals Fund of the Department of Foreign Affairs for 2019.