Philippines says more than 2,200 citizens in Kuwait want to go home

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A Filipino worker who was repatriated from Kuwait carries her child upon arrival at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Paranaque, Metro Manila, Philippines February 12, 2018. (Reuters)
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Filipino workers who were repatriated from Kuwait fill out labor-related papers upon arrival at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Paranaque, Metro Manila, Philippines February 12, 2018. (Reuters)
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Filipino workers who were repatriated from Kuwait fill out labor-related papers upon arrival at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Paranaque, Metro Manila in the Philippines February 12, 2018. (Reuters)
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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte shows a photo of a Filipino worker in Kuwait during a press conference in Davao City, in the southern island of Mindanao on February 9, 2018. (AFP)
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Filipino workers who were repatriated from Kuwait take part in a dialogue with a Department of Labour official at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Paranaque, Metro Manila, Philippines February 12, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 12 February 2018

Philippines says more than 2,200 citizens in Kuwait want to go home

MANILA: Philippines Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, in a press briefing said that around Overseas Filipino workers have arrived in Manila on Monday morning.
“They belong to the first batch of Filipinos who where allowed after applying for amnesty after overstaying their stays or escaping their employers,” Roque said.
“Those who were repatriated would be given financial assistance [amountin] P5,000 (SR366) and a further P20,000 assistance for alternative livelihood.”
More than 2,200 Filipinos are ready to take up President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer to repatriate workers from Kuwait due to reports of abuse, the Philippine labor minister said on Sunday.
Duterte asked Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific on Friday to provide flights for Filipinos who want to leave Kuwait, after a body of a Filipino worker was found in a freezer of an abandoned apartment.
“We have been informed that as of Friday there were 2,200-plus Filipinos who are willing to go home,” Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello III told Reuters, adding that some of them had overstayed their visas and applied for an amnesty.
The airlines have arranged free charter flights, and Bello said almost 500 Filipino workers were due to arrive soon.
The Philippines suspended sending workers to Kuwait in January after reports that abuse by employers had driven several to suicide. Duterte said on Friday that that suspension would remain indefinitely.
Kuwait’s Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah expressed “surprise and sorrow” at Duterte’s remarks in January, saying that legal proceedings had been taken in the cases of the four suicide cases mentioned by the president.
More than 250,000 Filipinos work in Kuwait, the Philippine foreign ministry estimates, most as domestic helpers. There are also large numbers in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
The government would help repatriated workers look for jobs, Bello said.
“We are into a re-integration program, we have a program in place for them,” he told the ANC news channel. “They will be given a livelihood.”
“We are now in the process of looking for alternative markets. One of them is China and even Russia,” he said, without elaborating.
(With Reuters)


Emirates opens bookings for a number of Arab destinations as of July

Updated 48 min 55 sec ago

Emirates opens bookings for a number of Arab destinations as of July

  • Coronavirus travel regulations remain and a number of countries have not yet revealed when they would reopen
  • The airline implemented precautionary measures from May 21

DUBAI: Emirates has opened online bookings for 12 Arab countries for flights starting on July 1.
The destinations include Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Iraq, Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia, but bookings are still subject to change, local media said.
“Currently some of our flights are available for booking starting  July 1; however, the situation still  remains dynamic and these flight services could be subject to change, We aim to provide our customers with as much notice as possible should there be any changes,” an Emirates spokesperson told weekly magazine Arabian Business.
However, coronavirus travel regulations remain and a number of countries have not yet revealed when they would reopen.
The airline implemented precautionary measures from May 21 as regular scheduled flights to some destinations resumed.
These measures introduced include complimentary hygiene kits for all passengers, staggered boarding – carried out on a row-by-row basis – with all flights over one-and-a-half hours having a cabin service assistant, who will ensure the toilets are cleaned every 45 minutes.
Other measures include a series of precautions for transit passengers in Dubai, ensuring strict social distancing and requiring passengers and crew to wear masks and gloves at all times.