MANILA -- The lobby of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration headquarters was bustling on Feb. 14. Dozens of housekeepers who came home for the Christmas holidays were rushing to complete paperwork and belatedly return to Kuwait. The day before, President Rodrigo Duterte's government lifted a monthlong deployment ban imposed on the Gulf nation after another Filipina maid was beaten to death by her employer.
Jovelyn Lestupido, 38, was among those planning their outbound travel. "My employer wants me to come back immediately. I'm getting a raise," said Lestupido, who was wearing a mask over fears of coronavirus. "The risk of being abused is part of working abroad."