THE DEPARTMENT of Labor and Employment (DoLE) on Thursday announced the partial lifting of the total deployment ban on overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Kuwait, which excludes household service workers.

Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III, in a briefing with reporters, said the decision came after a meeting with the governing board of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

“The governing board of the POEA just came up with a resolution lifting the ban partially… so exempted from the ban are the skilled workers, professionals, including the semi-skilled workers,” he said.

This covers both new hires and returning OFWs.

The deployment of household service workers remains prohibited.

POEA declared the total deployment ban in January after Filipino household worker Jenalyn Villavende died from injuries sustained from her abusive employers.

Similar cases of abuse have been reported in the past.

Mr. Bello said Kuwait authorities have already agreed to the provisions of a new contract template drafted by DoLE.

“The proposed harmonized contract of employment was agreed upon by the government. It’s a measure that will provide effective and sufficient protection to our overseas workers,” he said. — Gillian M. Cortez