After the brutal killing of Filipina domestic helper Jullebee Ranara, the Philippine government has suspended accreditation of foreign recruitment agencies (FRAs) in Kuwait until new regulations are put into place to send workers, according to the Philippine newspaper Phil Star.
The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) spokesperson Toby Nebreda confirmed they are working on implementing the new rules of the International Federation of Migrant Workers.
According to the newspaper, Catherine Doladol, who heads Kuwait's office of migrant workers, announced that the Philippine Financial Supervisory Authority would be establishing new regulations starting on January 29, 2023 for the accreditation process, job applications and employment contracts.
She added that foreign staffing agencies can only submit applications for processing if they have clean records, don't have nursing home residents, and don't have applications for assistance.
The application for new, double, and replacement accreditation has been suspended while the current accredited foreign recruitment agencies review it.
As she continued, "The number of additional work applications will also be limited to 50, based on the online migrant worker management system."
Moreover, she said, “Foreign employment agencies are also required to obtain clearance from the Office of Migrant Workers Administration before submitting and processing additional work applications, and foreign employment agencies must also submit a monthly monitoring report on their employment.”
Arnel Ignacio, head of the Department of Foreign Workers' Welfare, noted that cultural differences between Filipinos and Middle Easterners have sometimes led to conflict.
In Kuwait, Ignacio saw an average of 20 Filipino workers seeking refuge in the government-run shelter, but refused to classify the number as large.
Kuwaiti authorities are already preparing a larger shelter to accommodate all distressed OFWs.
Meanwhile, Manila Jeslani, an employment consultant in Manila, expressed her strong opposition to calls to ban the deployment of Filipino domestic workers in Kuwait. She noted that the ban could hurt Filipino workers more by encouraging them to leave illegally.
Instead of imposing a ban on the spread, she urged the government to assess the current situation and limit the number of those sent to the Middle Eastern country, as well as to take precautions to protect workers.
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