Around 1500 OFWs already repatriated from Kuwait

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said around 1500 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were already repatriated from Kuwait. On Saturday, around 130 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Kuwait arrived in Manila through a repatriation led by the Department of Foreign Affairs Office of Migrant Workers Affairs (DFA-OMWA) and the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait.

Majority of these are household service workers who are grantees of the amnesty from the Kuwaiti government. The OFWs hail from different provinces in the Philippines, particularly from the Visayas and Mindanao.

All amnesty grantees will receive Php 5,000 each in financial assistance from the DFA to help them resettle in the country while they search for other employment opportunities. Many of the repatriated OFWs expressed their desire to work in other countries outside of the Middle East.

The most recent batch of repatriated OFWs are among the 10,000 overstaying OFWs that DFA-OMWA and the Embassy are working hard to repatriate as soon as possible.

At present, DFA-OMWA and the Embassy are negotiating with the Kuwaiti government to extend the amnesty program for three months. The said program will allow OFWs who overstayed their work visas to leave the Gulf state without any fines or penalties. The program will also allow OFWs without proper work documents to process the necessary papers that will allow them to work legally in Kuwait.

Most of the undocumented OFWs in Kuwait are victims of illegal recruitment. Many of them were recruited through social media and entered Kuwait through other neighboring countries. DFA-OMWA and the Embassy have been launching information campaigns educating and warning all Filipinos from falling prey to illegal recruiters.

DFA-OMWA and the Embassy have worked closely with the Kuwaiti government in embarking on several rescue missions to save distressed OFWs from abusive employers and harsh working conditions.

Succeeding batches of repatriated OFWs are expected to arrive in the following days.