Despite the Kuwaiti court’s death verdict against two employers in the murder of Filipino domestic worker Joanna Demafelis in Kuwait, Malacanang said on Monday that the ban on deployment of overseas Filipino workers to Kuwait still remains, The Manila Times Online reported on Tuesday.
Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra said that the death sentence was not the only condition for the lifting of the deployment ban, adding that the Philippine government has wanted an agreement protecting the rights of Filipino domestic workers.
In a statement, Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd said the death conviction on Demafelis’ employers indicated sincerity on the part of Kuwait, but added that he was not ready yet to recommend President Rodrigo Duterte to lift the ban.
“If ever…a partial lifting may be considered for skilled workers but only after the formal agreement with Kuwait on the protection of Filipino workers is agreed,” said Bello in the statement.
He disclosed that President Duterte had set two requirements before the lifting of the deployment ban. One is the signing of a memorandum of agreement that will give added protection to Filipino workers in Kuwait and second, for the Kuwaiti government to render justice for the death of household service worker Joanna Demafelis.
Among the provisions Duterte wanted added to the deal were: adequate sleeping hours, nutritious meals and not just leftovers, rest on holidays and the right to keep their passports.