POEA revokes licenses of 10 agencies for recruitment violations

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 21) — The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has revoked the licenses of 10 recruitment agencies found guilty of recruitment violations.

POEA announced this in a document Wednesday.

The move comes after Secretary of Labor Silvestre Bello III ordered the fast-tracking of cases of recruitment agencies.

The overseas labor administration listed an initial 10 agencies penalized with cancellation of their license:

  • Al Bayan International Manpower Services Co.
  • Bumiputra Gulf Company Inc.
  • Gold Fortune Human Resources Corp.
  • LFC International Human Resources
  • Aisis International Manpower Incorporated
  • Greatworld International Management Inc.
  • GlobalGate International Manpower Services Inc.
  • MMML Recruitment Services Inc.
  • SML Human Resources Inc.
  • Best Migrant Workers International Manpower Services Inc.

It also included recruitment agency NRS Placement, which it penalized with a four-month license suspension.

Agencies with revoked licenses are no longer permitted to recruit or place overseas workers for employment.

POEA added five of its personnel will be charged with “appropriate cases.”

The crack down on violators comes amid heightened government scrutiny on abuses of OFWs following the death of Filipina worker Joanna Demafelis.Demafelis’ body was found stored in a freezer in Kuwait.

Her death has spurred a total ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait, in addition to a Senate probe on the treatment of OFWs working abroad.

Philippine officials to visit Kuwait amid worker row

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Topping the list are demands that Filipino workers be allowed to keep their cellphones and passports

Philippine officials are headed to Kuwait on Thursday to seek greater protection for migrant workers after a diplomatic row over the alleged mistreatment of Filipinos in the Gulf state.

Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello told reporters Wednesday one of his deputies would lead the delegation, which is also due to stop in Saudia Arabia and Qatar to urge reforms.

 

Topping the list are demands that Filipino workers be allowed to keep their cellphones and passports, which can be confiscated by employers.

The trip comes after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte last week announced a departure ban for Filipinos planning to work in Kuwait.

He was responding to the murder of a Filipina maid whose body was found stuffed in a freezer in Kuwait this month.

Duterte’s ban sparked a diplomatic flap between the Philippines and the Gulf state as he alleged that Arab employers routinely raped their Filipina workers, forced them to work 21 hours a day and fed them scraps.

Kuwait has invited Duterte for a visit but he has yet to respond.

Authorities say some 252,000 Filipinos work in Kuwait, many as maids. They are among over two million employed in the region, whose remittances are a lifeline to the Philippine economy.

“We are going to Kuwait tomorrow, Saudi Arabia and then on to Qatar to ensure that our overseas Filipino workers have sufficient protection,” said Labour Undersecretary Ciriaco Lagunzad, who will helm the delegation.

“We are afraid that because of the decision of the president to have a deployment ban, our overseas Filipino workers in Kuwait might be affected,” he added.

Lagunzad said Duterte had ordered the team to ensure that the passports of Filipino workers are deposited with the Philippine embassy.

Duterte also wanted Filipinos to have access to cellphones so they can call for help in case of abuse, Lagunzad said.

About 10 million Filipinos work abroad and their treatment abroad is often a political issue at home.

Another team of labour officials said on Wednesday they would conduct negotiations with Kuwait next week on a deal to protect Filipino workers.

“Hopefully we can finalise the memorandum of agreement and by first or second week of March, we will have the signing by the Kuwaiti and Philippine governments,” said Claro Arellano, another labour undersecretary.

Kuwaiti girl who joined Daesh exonerated

Defendant’s lawyer blamed well-known Kuwaiti preachers of influencing the youth

Manama: Kuwait’s Court of Appeals has upheld a decision by a lower court not to sentence a young girl accused of joining the Daesh terror group in northern Sinai, Egypt.

In November last year, the Criminal Court said that it would not issue a ruling against the young girl who was not named publicly.

 
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In its ruling, the court said that imams and preachers had a significant role in ensuring the stability of society and should therefore confront those who deceive young men and women.

Both courts seem to have accepted the arguments of the defendant’s lawyer, Khalid Al Kafeefa, who said in his pleadings that several well-known Kuwaiti preachers had encouraged young people to engage in the fighting in Syria and Iraq.

The lawyer said that these preachers were the main reason for his client to join a terror group in Sinai, explaining that her young age made her vulnerable and easily impressionable.

The Kuwaiti defendant was put on trial after the public prosecution accused her of joining a terror group from 2015 until 2017.

Son of former Pakistani cricketer commits suicide after being snubbed by selectors

Mohammad Zaryab committed suicide by hanging himself over "non-selection in an Under-19 cricket team"

Islamabad: Former Pakistani cricketer Aamer Hanif's son has committed suicide by hanging himself over "non-selection in an Under-19 cricket team".

Mohammad Zaryab, who was a first-year college student and Hanif's oldest son, killed himself on Monday.

 

According to Hanif, who represented Pakistan in five ODIs during the 1990s, his son was upset after he was declared "too old" to be selected for the U-19s, Geo News reported on Tuesday.

Zaryab had in January represented Karachi in an U-19 tournament in Lahore, from where he was "sent home over an injury". The teenager had resisted the move, but he was given an assurance that he would be selected again, the report said.

However, he was rejected later on the grounds of being an "overage player".

Hanif said his son "was forced to commit suicide by coaches and people overseeing the affairs of Under-19 cricket in the country".

"My son was pressurised... The coaches' behaviour towards him forced him (to kill himself)," said Hanif, as he pleaded for "other such sons to be saved" from "such (non-cooperative) environment".

President Duterte to Visit Wake of Joanna Demafelis within this week in their hometown in Iloilo

President Rodrigo Duterte is scheduled to visit the wake of overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Joanna Demafelis in Sara town in Iloilo this week, Malacañang said on Monday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed this when asked if Duterte has plans to visit the wake of Demafelis, whose corpse was found kept inside a freezer in Kuwait

Roque, however, did not disclose the exact date of Mr. Duterte’s visit.


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But Roque said that the government would extend financial and burial assistance to the family of the murdered OFW.

“Death (and burial benefits), financial assistance to the family. And I am sure the President will announce other contribution,” he told reporters in Malacañang.

Demafelis’ remains arrived in Manila last Friday and was flown to her hometown in Iloilo on Saturday.

The case of Demafelis and other reported abuses among OFWs have prompted Mr. Duterte to impose a total employment ban of Filipino workers to Kuwait.

After Kuwait, Duterte eyes deployment ban in other countries

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has said the ban on the overseas deployment of Filipinos may also be imposed on other countries after his administration halted sending Filipino workers to Kuwait over reported abuses. 

“The ban will continue and it will extend to other countries. Mahirapan sila... Well, humihingi na ako ng tawad sa inyo. I will not allow… Hindi… Wala akong kaplano na ipadala kayo doon tapos babuyin kayo. Hindi ko style ‘yan,” Duterte said in a speech Monday.

Duterte did not disclose the countries where he is planning the imposition of a deployment ban. In a press briefing Tuesday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said he has no idea which countries the President was referring to.

Duterte recently ordered a deployment ban to Kuwait after the death of several overseas Filipino workers in the Gulf state, including Joanna Demafelis, whose body was recently found inside a freezer at an abandoned apartment there. 

In his speech, Duterte reiterated that “the Filipino is a slave of nobody.”

“The Filipino seeks to work abroad to earn a living so that he can help his family because the economy here, local, cannot absorb the entire workforce who would want to [work],” he said.

The President also appealed to other countries hosting Filipino workers to ensure that they are treated humanely.

“The only thing… that we ask is that you give us the dignity of a human being, you treat us humanely, be tolerant of our cultural differences and do not abuse our women because it will inflict a long and lasting wound. Maybe this generation cannot and will not forget it,” Duterte said.

“That is why, I’m addressing myself, not only to Kuwait but to the entire nations in the world to say that Filipinos are everywhere seeking livelihood, can I please plead to you? Please do not degrade them like animals, do not treat them as a slave," said the President. 

Reported abuses of Filipino workers in Kuwait have also prompted the government to repatriate Filipinos from the Gulf state who would like to come home.

There are an estimated 10 million Filipinos overseas, many of whom work as household service workers. 

 

Source : ABS-CBN News

UK is considering a ‘permanent military presence’ in Kuwait

Michael Davenport, British Ambassador to Kuwait, revealed during an exclusive interview with Forces Network that Britain is considering a permanent military presence in Kuwait.

Davenport reportedly said that the Kuwaiti government originally expressed interest in the idea.

“We’re looking at all the possibilities. We’re not talking about a major deployment I don’t think, but we’re looking at what might work for both the United Kingdom and for Kuwait. As I say, it’s at a very early stage.”

In addition to supporting the counter-Daesh coalition, the British partnership with Kuwait includes joint exercising and training packages delivered to Kuwait’s military institutions and Armed Forces.

Last year at the invitation of Kuwait MOD, command personnel from 51 Brigade participated in the US-led multinational exercise Eagle Resolve 15, designed to simulate the combined defence of Kuwait. Due to its success and the strong Defence relationship with Kuwait, personnel from 51 Brigade have been invited to participate in this exercise again next year. Additionally, the Army has accepted an invitation for 2nd Battalion Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment to conduct a Land Overseas Training Exercise with Kuwait Land Forces next year to rehearse joint operational planning and deployment.

For many years the UK has continued to advise and develop Kuwait’s Armed Forces through a team of embedded UK officers under the British Military Mission in Kuwait, carrying out a number of supporting roles across Kuwait’s military institutions.

Switch Employers: MOI allows holders of article 20 who were reported as absconding to switch employer

Kuwait: MOI allows holders of article 20 who were reported as absconding to switch employer without the previous employer’s consent after paying the fines, and can transfer to another after 1 year of work

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Duterte to Visit Kuwait per Amir’s Invitation, Philippines and Kuwait to Sign Labor Agreement

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is set to meet His Highness Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah of Kuwait.  The said meeting is intended for two countries to come up with an agreement which will regulate Filipino workers in the said country.  It will take place either the first week or the second week of March 2018.

Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah announced Duterte’s meeting in Kuwait after an invitation was sent by the Amir.  He further claimed that there is a drafted agreement which is for review by both countries as proposed by Philippine officials particularly to address the unfortunate experiences of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) working in Kuwait.

“The Philippine president will visit the country after the Amir sent an invitation to the president. The visit will – God willing – take place in the first or second week of March.”

 “We have been presented with the draft agreement which will be signed by Kuwait and the Philippines. Concerned authorities (in Kuwait) have reviewed the draft.”

According to Jarallah, the two heads of state are on their way to calm the situation by handling the problem accordingly.

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah

Looking back, it was after the mysterious deaths of Filipino domestic helpers which triggered Duterte to have thought of issuing an deployment ban of OFWs to Kuwait.  This had become an administrative order after the enraged President had instructed the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to issue total deployment ban upon learning the death of Demafelis, an OFW whose dead body was kept inside a freezer for more than a year.

Following the administrative order, Kuwait had condemned what it considered as an escalation by the Philippines which threatened its bilateral relations when Duterte and its government officials lashed out at Kuwait for maltreatment and abuse of domestic helpers.

This was however categorically denied by Kuwait and stressed that the abuse cases were very limited.  They then assured that such cases will be dealt with according to Kuwait’s governing law.

For this reason, the two countries are to meet for a diplomatic dialogue to prevent the escalation and agreed not to use the media.

Meanwhile, official delegates from the Philippines are to arrive in Kuwait today to have talks with Kuwaiti officials to discuss the condition of Filipino workers and the proposed labor agreement before the official visit of Duterte to Kuwait will take place soon

Identity of Allegedly Murderers of Joanna Demafelis Revealed

Recently, the social media was flooded by a post who exposed a picture of a couple whom she claimed to be the suspects who allegedly killed OFW domestic helper in Kuwait, Joanna Demafelis.

The post earned different reactions from the netizens since there isn’t any official report coming from Kuwait authorities that the persons responsible for the death of Demafelis had already been arrested which is not true.

Demafelis was an OFW whose dead body was found inside a freezer and was kept for more than a year.  News circulated that Kuwaiti authorities are in search of her Lebanese employer and his Syrian wife whom they consider as prime suspects of the said crime.

Previously, some reports reveal that Demafelis had been maltreated and strangled to death by her employers. However, as investigation is still going on, the public still awaits for update coming from the government of Kuwait

The Story :

According to Arabnewsonline The Lebanese Interpol upon a request from its Kuwaiti counterpart is looking for the alleged murderers of Filipino domestic worker Joanna Daniela Demafelis, The Lebanese man Nader Issam Assaf and his Syrian wife Mona Hassoun are accused of murdering the Filipina and dumping her body in a freezer. However, the Al-Rai daily quoting the mother of the Lebanese man Nader Issam Assaf said her son is innocent and blamed his wife for what has happened.

The mother said she was on a visit to Kuwait and saw the wife grabbing the victim by the hair and hitting her head on the wall. The mother added, she then told her daughter-in-law to return her to the recruitment office if she was not satisfied with her work and the latter ignored. The mother added, she could not stick to the behavior of the wife and decided to leave Kuwait before the expiry of her visit visa. She went on to say she saw her son 10 months ago in a police station in Syria.

He was in a very bad health condition and he told her he had a bypass surgery. She also said two months ago she called her son and he told her his wife had given birth to a baby.

Philippine officials in Kuwait said they had been coordinating with their Kuwaiti counterparts to launch “rescue missions to save distressed OFWs from abusive employers and harsh working conditions.” They had also been conducting information campaigns to warn Filipinos from being victimized by illegal recruiters, the DFA said.

The whole nation still awaits for the update of the case but all cries justice for Demafelis.