News Release

OFW deployment ban to Kuwait stays

Sara, Iloilo — The deployment ban of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) to Kuwait continues, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. announced on Thursday, February 22.

“(T)he President says he gives primary consideration to the welfare and safety of our overseas Filipino workers rather than economic gains,” Roque said in a press briefing here.

The death of overseas Filipino worker Joanna Demafelis led to the ban of deployment of migrant workers to Kuwait.

“Again, our position under the international law is that Joanna should be treated in the same manner as with other nationals of Kuwait,” the Palace spokesperson reiterated.

Roque added that under the international law, Kuwait is duty-bound to give Joanna’s family adequate domestic remedy under Kuwaiti law.

“(M)eaning it should be investigated, prosecuted, and the perpetrators punished at the soonest time possible,” he clarified.

Roque assured that the Philippine government will actively espouse the right of the family of Joanna to obtain justice.

He was also hopeful that a bilateral negotiation between the Philippines and Kuwait is ongoing and that ties would normalize when both countries finally agreed upon a bilateral agreement that would protect the right of OFWs in Kuwait.

On the other hand, President Duterte, during a meeting with Japanese conglomerates, thanked Japan for its “whole-hearted” support to his administration’s programs and for the humanitarian assistance it extended to the Filipinos.

Roque added the President pledged his commitment to ensure that Japan’s projects, whether government-to-government or business-to-business, will receive the necessary attention, free of bureaucratic delays.

‘First cancer institute in Western Visayas’

In the same press briefing, Roque announced that Medicus Cancer Institute Inc., the first cancer institute in Western Visayas, was granted a P259-million term loan by the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).

“With this loan support, Medicus Cancer Institute will soon be able to deliver a better treatment and support to cancer patients in the region,” he said.

With this development, cancer patients in Western Visayas need not go to Cebu or Manila to seek treatment, Roque underscored. ### PCO-Content