165 OFWs from Kuwait home on Holy Tuesday

MANILA — A total of 165 One overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Kuwait were scheduled to arrive in the Philippines on Holy Tuesday (March 27).

Forty-five of them arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) at around 4:30 p.m. via Qatar Airways flight QR 932. Another 120 were scheduled to arrive via Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight PR 669 at 10:40 p.m.

More than 3,500 OFWs from Kuwait have been repatriated since February. It was also in February when the Philippine government imposed a deployment ban to Kuwait, due to reports of maltreatment and abuse of OFWs there.

Joanna Demafelis, a Filipino domestic helper in Kuwait, was murdered and was found inside a freezer. Authorities said Demafelis’ employers were the primary suspects.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) are continuously working on the OFWs’ repatriation on the instruction of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The President has also requested local carriers to help in the government’s repatriation efforts. The Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific (CEB) have heeded this request by mounting special flights and providing free flights for the distressed OFWs in Kuwait.

Upon the OFWs’ arrival in the Philippines, the government provides them with temporary shelter, and also shoulders their fares to go back to their provinces. They are also given cash support.

Meanwhile, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) earlier announced it would prioritize the repatriated OFWs in the agency’s free technical vocational (tech-voc) courses.

Repatriated OFWs from Kuwait will also be prioritized in TESDA’s training programs and retraining assistance.

TESDA chief Guiling Mamondiong is also inviting the returning OFWs to join the agency’s second National Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Enrollment Day and Jobs Bridging event on April 5-6 at TESDA’s offices nationwide.

During this event, participants can learn more about TESDA’s training and skills upgrading program. They can also find job opportunities from partner companies, especially those in the construction and information technology/business process management (IT-BPM) sectors. Ma. Cristina Arayata/PNA-northboundasia.com