DAVAO CITY, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte personally welcomed the 116 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) repatriated from Kuwait, Tuesday at around 3:30 in the afternoon, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminal 1.
The 127 repatriated OFWs were among those who availed of amnesty granted by the Kuwaiti government.
Another 150 OFWs arrived Tuesday at 10:00 in the evening.
Addressing the returning OFWs, Duterte emphasized “I’d like to say again, welcome. I love you as a Filipino. Mahal ko kayo (I love you all).”
Last Friday, Duterte ordered total ban on the deployment of Filipino workers in Kuwait as reports of maltreatment and abuses committed against Filipinos including a migrant Filipina worker whose body was found in a freezer.
Data from the department of Labor showed 185 Filipino workers were killed in Kuwait in 2016 to 2017.
“Hindi po ako papayag na samantalahin kayo. O kung nangyari man ‘yan, makakatikim sila sa akin. Hindi ako basta-basta gaya ng ibang tahimik lang,” Duterte told the OFWs.
READ : (duterte-bans-ofw-deployment-to-kuwait-185-deaths-recorded-in-2-years)
Duterte and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello handed P5,000 cash assistance to every returning worker.
The government will provide a total of P15,000 as well as grocery bags to the repatriated Filipinos.
In his speech, Duterte thanked Philippine Airlines President Lucio Tan and the Gokongwei family of Cebu pacific “In behalf of our countrymen, thank you and I will remember you for all time.”
Bello said there are more than 2,200 OFWs from Kuwait wanted to go home.
The repatriation program is offered to the OFW who wanted to go home voluntarily.-Editah Z. Caduaya/Newsline.ph