The Department of Labor and Employment in Manila. Photo: Google Maps
The Department of Labor and Employment in Manila. Photo: Google Maps

The Philippine government says it is prepared to provide alternative jobs for thousands of Filipinos working in Kuwait if a total deployment ban is imposed.

The news comes after the death of many workers, plus a disturbingly high level of mistreatment and sexual abuse.

Labor Secretary Sylvestre Bello III said on Thursday the Department of Labor and Employment could provide alternative work for Filipino workers who may be affected by the ban, the Philippine Star reported.

“If the ban pushes through, we are ready in case overseas Filipino workers will return home because there are alternative markets for them like China. For our medical workers, there is Canada and United Kingdom,” Bello said.

He said the Philippine Overseas Labor Office had been given 15 days to investigate the deaths of seven Filipino workers in Kuwait.

“We will declare a total deployment ban if the investigation proves the deaths were caused by maltreatment and abuses,” he said.

However, if the deaths were not caused by abuse, Bello would lift the suspension order on deploying new Filipino workers to Kuwait.

The department said that from 2016 to 2017 there were 1,447 cases of mistreatment of Filipino workers in Kuwait, plus 227 cases of sexual abuse (over four per week), and 62 cases of rape.

There are about 600,000 domestic workers in Kuwait, and the majority come from countries in Asia.

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