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OFWs from Kuwait can be redeployed elsewhere – Pimentel

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POLITIKO - The bible of Philippine Politics

Filipino workers in Kuwait who heed President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for them to come home may be redeployed to other foreign labor markets, should they still prefer to seek employment overseas, Surigao del Sur second-district Rep. Johnny Pimentel said on Monday.

“Outside of Kuwait, we have far bigger labor markets in other parts of the Middle East and elsewhere that offer better protection for our workers,” Pimentel said in a statement.

The labor markets for Filipinos in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), for instance, are each easily three times bigger than Kuwait’s, Pimentel said.

Besides Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Pimentel said Qatar, Oman and Bahrain also have labor markets for Filipinos.

“In any labor market, what is important is that the jobseekers must have the skills that they can sell to employers,” Pimentel said.

In the case of domestic workers in Kuwait who decide to come home, Pimentel said they should be provided “new and improved competencies” by the Department of Labor and Employment’s Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

Of the 252,000 Filipinos in Kuwait, 170,000 are domestic workers, while the rest are mostly employed by the petroleum sector.

Duterte on Sunday made permanent a previously temporary deployment ban that covers all types of workers recruited for the first time for employment in Kuwait, without distinction as to skill, profession or type of work.

Exempted from the ban are workers vacationing in the Philippines and expected to return to the same employer to finish their contacts, as well as those returning to Kuwait on a new contract with the same employer.

Filipinos who opt to stay in Kuwait may continue to work there, as long as they are needed by their employers, and as long as their contracts are renewed, according to Pimentel.

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