Duterte meets second batch of repatriated Filipino workers from Kuwait

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures while addressing Filipino Overseas Workers who were repatriated from Kuwait, on Feb. 13, 2018 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in suburban Pasay city southeast of Manila, Philippines. (AP)
Updated 13 February 2018
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Duterte meets second batch of repatriated Filipino workers from Kuwait

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte personally welcomed 116 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who have been repatriated from Kuwait.

In his speech at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Duterte told his audience not to lose hope and that his administration would assist them and provide them with employment opportunities.

“We are here to see to it that every Filipino is treated decently,” he said.

On Monday, the Philippines banned its citizens from traveling to work in Kuwait and began to repatriate the thousands of Filipinos already employed there. The first batch of more than 300 repatriated OFWs arrived in Manila on Monday.

The ban was sparked by Duterte’s anger over the treatment of Joanna Demafelis, a domestic worker whose body was found last week inside a freezer in an apartment in Kuwait that had been abandoned by her Lebanese employer in 2016.

Duterte said the government is willing to give land to those interested in farming it, adding that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) also runs a livelihood program for returning OFWs.

The president said he could assure Filipino workers that the government has the necessary resources to look after them on their return home, and underscored that the decision and the urgency with which it was implemented were for the protection of OFWs.

Duterte also said the government would examine other markets for OFWs — citing China and Japan as examples of markets that are opening up to Filipino workers — but that his administration is already increasing efforts to attract foreign business to the Philippines in a bid to create more jobs locally.


Indonesia flood, landslide death toll rises to 30

Updated 39 min 13 sec ago
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Indonesia flood, landslide death toll rises to 30

  • More than 3,000 people have been evacuated and at least 46 are being treated at local hospitals and health clinics
  • In October, flash floods and landslides killed at least 22 people in several districts across Sumatra island

MAKASSAR, Indonesia: The death toll from flash floods and landslides in Indonesia has risen to 30, as rescuers raced to find two dozen still missing, the disaster agency said Thursday.
Thousands have been evacuated from their homes as heavy rain and strong winds pounded the southern part of Sulawesi island, swelling rivers that burst their banks and inundating dozens of communities in nine southern districts.
Parts of the provincial capital Makassar have also been affected.
Rescuers and residents waded through streets filled with waist-deep water, some carrying their belongings above their heads.
“We urge people to always be aware of the possibility of floods and landslides,” said national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.
Landslides and flooding are common in Indonesia, especially during the monsoon season between October and April, when rain lashes the vast Southeast Asian archipelago.
In October, flash floods and landslides killed at least 22 people in several districts across Sumatra island.
On Thursday, the disaster agency said that while flooding in South Sulawesi province was receding “the search and evacuation process is still ongoing.”
The death toll had stood at 26 on Thursday morning.
More than 3,000 people have been evacuated and at least 46 are being treated at local hospitals and health clinics.
The floods also damaged houses, government buildings, schools and bridges.