More than 170,000 job opportunities are available in the UK and Hong Kong for Filipinos who wish to work overseas but want to avoid the Middle East, where some countries such as Kuwait have acquired a bad reputation for abuse of foreign workers.

There are 16,000 jobs available for Filipino nurses in the UK and more than 154,000 slots for domestic workers are open in Hong Kong, Gulf News reported.

Jocelyn Sanchez, deputy administrator of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, urged Filipinos affected by Manila’s ban on deployment to Kuwait to look for jobs in other countries as well, such as Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the US.

In February, the Philippine government issued the deployment ban after the body of a slain Filipino maid was found stuffed inside a freezer in Kuwait. The ban affected more than 10,000 Filipinos working in the country.

This month, the Philippine and Kuwaiti governments started finalizing a bilateral agreement to ensure the protection of Filipino workers.

However, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said it would not lift the deployment ban unless more pragmatic measures to protect Filipinos were included in the agreement.

Read: Philippines issues total ban on sending workers to Kuwait