DOLLAR remittances of Kuwait Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from Davao Region will not be significantly affected by the ban as it only includes newly-hired workers, said Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa) official.
Owwa Davao Region seeks the understanding of new OFWs in Davao Region bound for Kuwait as the ban is also for their own security and welfare.
Owwa Davao Region officer-in-charge Carmelo Elaya said the ban of newly-hired workers to Kuwait will not significantly affect the remittances to Davao Region as existing Kuwait workers and those coming back to work to Kuwait are not affected.
Elaya said those that are prohibited from going to Kuwait are only those that are currently processing their Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) as newly-hired. Those that are already in Kuwait or those that are in the Philippines for vacation from work are not affected by the ban.
Through the Administrative Order No. 25, processing and issuance of OECs will be stopped for Kuwait-bound applicants. This order was made following the death of seven Filipina household workers based in Kuwait.
The OEC is the last step of an OFW after processing the needed documents and attending required seminars such as the pre-departure and the culture and language seminars.
"For the part of the OFWs, they have already set their mind that they will be going abroad. Perhaps they might have even loaned money to prepare themselves and other requirements. Of course, this will really affect them...Because our government really wants to protect the OFWs, this was implemented. We do not do this just so they won't be able to work abroad but also because of their own protection. We really need to study this given the situation of some of the OFWs in Kuwait who experience maltreatment," Elaya said.
They have yet to track down the exact number of OFWs in Davao Region affected by this ban as some of the agencies schedule their applicants pre-departure seminars in OWWA Davao Region and apply for the OEC in other branches, most of the times in Manila already.
However, Elaya said that they have 40 to 45 pre-departure seminar attendees per batch. In a week, they are able to hold an average of 25 batches of seminars. This number is already an accumulation of workers bound for other countries and not only in Kuwait.