Philippines expands ban for citizens working in Kuwait

The Philippines has expanded a ban on its citizens working in Kuwait. Some 252,000 Filipinos work in Kuwait, many as maids, and they are among over 2 million employed in the region, whose remittances are a lifeline to the Philippine economy. Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello Monday announced a “total ban” on new employment in the country, including Filipinos who had already obtained employment permits but had not yet left for the wealthy oil-producing country, AFP reports. The move came after President Rodrigo Duterte lashed out at the Gulf state over reports of Filipino workers suffering abuse and exploitation. Authorities have not ruled out revoking the permits of Filipinos currently working in Kuwait or of previous hires returning on new contracts.