“The suspension took effect after I signed it today” says the Labor Secretary Friday night, January 19, 2010.
Bello signed the Administrative Order 25-2018 affecting the suspension of sending of Filipino workers to Kuwait.
“The suspension is just temporary because we have to determine the cause of death involving seven OFWs there,” he told Newsline.ph earlier.
With this, Bello ordered the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to stop the processing of overseas employment certificates of Kuwait-bound workers.
Bello said of the seven OFWs seven six are female namely Liezl Truz Hukdong, Vanessa Karissha L. Esguerra, Marie Fe Saliling Librada, Arlene Castillo Manzano, Devine Riche Encarnacion, Mira Luna Juntilla and a male Patrick Sunga.
“These incidents happened from December 2017 to January 2018,” Bello added.
“There are reports which say one of the girls was killed by her employer, one case was reportedly due to suicide while one case was reportedly perpetrated by her boyfriend so also took his life after killing the girl, medyo malabo ang mga cause of death (the causes of death is vague), we have to conduct our own investigation to determine what really happened,” the Labor Secretary added.
If the investigation will show that their death was not work related, then, Bello said “The suspension will be lifted.”
But if it turns out that the OFWs were sexually abused and maltreated, Bello emphasized “Then I just have to implement the order of the President to ban the deployment of our OFW in Kuwait.”
On Thursday, January 18, President Rodrigo Duterte said he is mulling a total deployment ban of OFWs to Kuwait, particularly household workers following reports of sexual abuses. Bello said the order of suspension took effect Friday.-Editha Z. Caduaya/Newsline.ph