Distressed Kuwait-based Filipino expatriates fly home

February 20, 2011

A group of 68 distressed Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) have left Kuwait for home, officials have said.

Their departure last week was part of the mass repatriation of stranded OFWs in Kuwait.

Most of the distressed OFWs worked as household service workers who were victims of non-payment of salaries, fatigue, lack of food, physical, verbal and sexual abuse prompting them to escape from their employers and seek temporary refuge at the Filipino Workers Resource Center (FWRC) at the Philippine Overseas Labour Office in Jabriya.

The distressed OFWs beamed with happiness and excitement as they checked in at the airport.

“I’m very happy that I will be with my family again and we would like to thank the Kuwaiti government and the Philippine Embassy for helping us go home,” said Girly Dorio, 35, who escaped from her employer due to lack of sleep after she was asked to work for almost 24 hours.

Nona Dagatan, 43, left her job as a registrar at a school in Cagayan de Oro City, Southern Philippines, to help secure a better future for her family.

However, she worked in Kuwait only for one-and-a-half month. “My employer banged the door on my back and my back still hurts. It’s been a traumatic experience for me,” she said, quoted by Kuwaiti daily Arab Times on Sunday.

Philippine Embassy and Philippine Overseas Labour Office officials and staff as well as members of the Alpha Phi Omega Kuwait Alumni Association 153 (APO-KAA 153) were at the airport to see them off.

Philippine Labour Attache Vivo Vidal told Arab Times that the airfare of all those repatriated was paid by the manpower agencies of the distressed OFWs.

“This is part of our continuous repatriation programme. This is our third batch of repatriation since January. It was accelerated because the procedures were made easier for us,” he said. “With the help and cooperation of the Ministry of Interior all their necessary travel documents were processed and they went straight from the embassy to the airport without passing through the ‘Talha’ or deportation center. We hope this system will continue to ease the repatriation process of other stranded OFWs,” he said.

According to the official, 196 distressed OFWs are temporarily housed at the FWRC who are awaiting repatriation.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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