FOREIGN RELATIONS

DOLE condemns death of another OFW in Kuwait

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Tuesday slammed the reported death of another overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in Kuwait.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the Philippine government is offended over the killing of Jeanelyn Padernal Villavende allegedly by her employer.
“The Labor Department is deeply saddened and outraged over the violent death of Filipino worker Jeanelyn Padernal Villavende in the hands of her Kuwaiti employer,” he said in a statement.
“The case is a clear violation of the agreement signed by both Kuwait and the Philippines in 2018 that seeks to uphold and promote the protection of the rights and welfare of our workers in the Gulf state,” the DOLE chief added.

An eye for an eye, a life for a life

Kuwaiti Ambassador Musaed Salem Ahmad Al Thuwaikh and Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. (DFA photo)
At the same time, Bello urged for the immediate resolution of the death of the household service worker (HSW).
“The Department looks forward to the swift resolution of the case and that justice will be served to Villavende and her family,” he said.
The DOLE head also assured that assistance will be provided to the family of the Filipino worker.
“The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration will provide burial and livelihood assistance, as well as scholarship to the family members of Villavende,” Bello added.
On Monday, the Department of Foreign Affairs reported that a Filipina worker has been killed allegedly by her employer’s wife.
The DFA said that an investigation of the case is being conducted.
Villavende’s death happened while there is an existing memorandum of agreement between Manila and Kuwait City involving the welfare and safety of OFWs signed in 2018.
In February last year, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to impose a four-month total deployment ban to Kuwait due to the continued abuses and maltreatment of OFWs there, particularly the killing of Joanna Demafelis.
The ban was later lifted as the Philippine and Kuwaiti governments entered into an agreement on the deployment and protection of OFWs in the Gulf state. (PNA)

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