PH to deploy more OFWs in Bahrain, mulls ban on Kuwait - Bello

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President Rodrigo Duterte with some Filipinos in Bahrain

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 15) — The Duterte administration wants overseas Filipino workers to go home and work in the country, but they are also paving the road for faster processing of outgoing workers' documents to facilitate their deployment.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said his Bahrain counterpart appreciates the work ethics of overseas Filipino workers.

"We had a very long meeting last night with the Assistant Secretary of Labor ng Bahrain. And he was telling us ... he wants more Filipino migrant workers dito kaya lang nag-complain siya na ang sabi niya (but he complained, saying), while we prefer Filipino migrant workers over the other nationalities like Indonesia (and) India, ang kupad daw ng processing ng Philippine government (the Philippine government is slow in processing documents)," Bello said in a press briefing in Bahrain.

Processing of work documents for Filipino migrant workers takes six weeks while it takes only two weeks for Indonesian and Indian workers, Bello said, quoting his Bahrain counterpart.

Bello vows to work for more efficient processing of OFWs' papers as he  hails their "competence, patience and trustworthiness." He says the Philippines is preparing  to sign an agreement with Bahrain regarding OFW deployment on May 8.

Bello said there are currently 16,000 OFWs in Bahrain.

On the other hand, the government is facing some problems in Kuwait, where two Filipinas died on the same day.

Despite pleading her innocence, Jakatia Pawa was on death row for nine years before she was executed on January 25, 2017. On the same day, Amy Capulong was beaten to death by her employers.

"As an aftermath of that, I talked to our senior officials in the department that we will consider seriously banning or maybe just to minimize deployment of overseas workers in Kuwait. It is basically our household service workers," Bello said.

However, Bello said they are delaying their decision because the Kuwait government might think of it as a "retaliatory move."