The country has lost an estimated over 50,000 jobs both skilled and the Household Service Workers over the prolonged deployment ban which is now running to 6 months which the government imposed last January 22,2018 on alleged abuses and maltreatment of HSWs.
The decision of the government to sign the finalized Memorandum of Understanding with Kuwait after Ramadan which is expected to be at the end of May this year has dashed hopes of skilled workers who were initially accepted to work in Kuwait but thanks to DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III the visas of those workers expired and their employers have accepted other nationalities to their positions.
Despite knowing that skilled workers are covered by a Special Kuwaiti law for the private sector and the proposed MOU is only for HSWs Sec. Bello refused to lift the deployment ban for the skilled workers who appealed to him a few months ago to allow them to leave for Kuwait since their visas were about to expire and that many of the workers had resigned from their jobs to accept the overseas position.
Save our jobs for our families was the appeal of hundreds last February of skilled OFWs affected by the ban to Kuwait which was ignored by DOLE Secretary Bello III.
Kuwaiti companies who had recruited the workers and waited for them had lost interest in acquiring the Filipinos had no choice except to get workers from other nationalities like Indians, Bangladeshi and Pakistani workers.
The Household Service Sector agencies used to deploy 5,000 maids each month and their companies are near bankruptcy with no deployment over the past five months and no hope for the ban to be lifted soon even if the MOU is signed by President Duterte when and if flies to Kuwait after Ramadan.
Recruitment consultant and migration expert Emmanuel S. Geslani publicly appealed to the Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III to reconsider his decision to continue the deployment ban to Kuwait which includes skilled workers who implored him this week to allow them to leave for their waiting jobs in Kuwait.
These skilled workers are Oil and gas engineers, I.T professionals, nurses, medical and laboratory technicians, store mangers, sales personnel, communication technicians, maintenance personnel electricians, plumbers, carpenters who were issued visas and plane but the administrative order signed by Sec. Bello last January 22, 2018 stopped the processing of OECs for all new hires for both skilled and household service workers.
The skilled workers who were recruited and processed by licensed agencies deploying to Kuwait have already resigned from their jobs after being selected for the jobs in Kuwait. Many of them pleaded with Secretary Bello that since they had resigned they practically have no more income to support their families since they were looking forward to their deployment to Kuwait which offered them three to four times higher than their present salaries.
The impasse on the deployment ban continued for five months thousands of werk visas for the skilled workers havel expired including their medical results which are only good for three (3) months. Once the visas expire and the principal does not extend them the foreign jobs are definitely lost for the workers who are now jobless with no hope of returning to their former jobs.
In 2016 around 105,000 OFWs were deployed to Kuwait with 57,061 as HSWs while skilled workers filled up the balance of 105,000 There are 270,000 OFWs in Kuwait with almost 150,000 Household Service Workers and the rest are skilled workers mostly in the oil production services.
There will be a drop in dollar remittances amounting to over 1.3 billion dollars from Kuwait if the government pushes through with the threat of a permanent deployment ban to Kuwait which has over 270,000 documented workers now in Kuwait.
A permanent deployment ban will also harm our friendly relations with the Gulf Countries of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar and Yemen which is host to 2.2 million Filipinos that bring in the bulk of our dollar remittances yearly to almost 28 billion US dollars.