Kuwait’s Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah said Monday that an agreement has been made with Filipino authorities in a bid to regulate workforce in the country.
Authorities in Manila made the request for the preliminary deal, Al-Jarallah told the press after a meeting of a parliamentary committee dealing with foreign affairs.
He revealed that His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has invited Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte to visit Kuwait next month, pointing out that, “calm has by and large been restored after the uproar created by Duterte’s recent remarks.” “We made clear to the authorities in the Philippines that this issue needs to be rectified,” Al-Jarallah said, citing “positive feedback” from Filipino officials.
Meanwhile, Al-Jarallah went on to say that the parliamentary committee has been assigned to investigate the Filipino President’s comments, pending a report to be referred to parliament, On the meeting, the Kuwaiti deputy foreign minister noted that prices of domestic service, which have gone through the roof as of late, was among topics discussed.”We are working closely with our embassies abroad to address this issue,” he added.
#Manila: The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is proposing that passports of domestic workers in Kuwait should remain with the Philippine Embassy to prevent abuse.
” If the employee holds it, if they leave their employer but they stay in Kuwait, they’ll be liable to the Kuwaiti government. So as a middle ground, responsible officers in the embassy may hold the passports.
He said the practice of some employers in Kuwait to hold the worker’s passports prevent Filipinos from leaving and report abuses.
Cayetano listed some of the commonly reported problems experienced by Filipino workers in Kuwait:
-Delayed or non-payment of salaries
-Non-payment of overtime
-Prolonged working hours
-Transfer of one worker from employer to employer
-Transfer of OFW from Kuwait to another country in the Gulf Cooperation Council without worker’s consent
The DFA Chief also said they are in talks with their Kuwaiti counterparts to address the issues.
Cayetano added the payout system for domestic workers should be through automated teller machine (ATM) cards.
” At least when it’s in the ATMs, in the banks, there’s an electronic record so we’ll see if they get paid or not.”
Cayetano also opened the idea of an international hotline for migrant workers to use so that their concerns will be immediately addressed.
#Manila: The long-term relations between the Philippines and Kuwait would not be affected despite the ban on the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Kuwait, Malacañang said yesterday. “I’d like to think that the long-term Filipino-Kuwaiti relations will not be affected,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said in a Palace briefing.
Roque was responding to concerns raised by Kuwaiti Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid al-Sabah that the ban could damage ties between the two countries.
Sheikh Sabah has refuted the statements of President Rodrigo R. Duterte on OFWs being treated “inhumanely”, saying that thousands of other Filipinos lived a decent life in Kuwait.
Roque, meanwhile, said that Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano would meet with the Kuwaiti ambassador to the Philippines Saleh Ahmad Althwaikh Thursday, He said Duterte’s marching order to Cayetano was to get a commitment from the government of Kuwait to protect Filipinos in the Gulf state.
Citing autopsy report, Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Villa said Joanna Daniela Demafelis had several broken ribs and contusion and trauma in the pelvis and kidney area, she also suffered from internal bleeding, several wounds were also found on Demafelis’ body, the autopsy also showed that Demafelis was already dead when she was put inside the freezer.
the remains of Demafelis is expected to be repatriated to the Philippines on Friday, Interpol is tracking the employers of Joanna, Officers tasked to investigate the case disclosed that Assaf and Hassoun are in Syria.
The Kuwaiti government, represented by the Foreign Ministry, has resorted to all diplomatic channels concerning statements uttered by officials in the Philippines over Filipino manpower in the country, Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh, said on Tuesday.
This came in a statement by Al-Saleh while commenting on a letter of MP Al-Humaidi Al-Subei concerning statement made by Philippines’ officials on the issue of Filipino domestic labor. The MP asked that the committee on foreign affairs be tasked to discuss this matter to be followed by a report to be submitted to the parliament.
The diplomatic channels taken by the government represented by the Foreign Ministry are long and have mechanisms and regulations, Al-Saleh said.
This subject began with a statement by the Philippines President on January 19 followed by other statements by other Philippines officials.
A statement was issued by Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah expressing his regret over the statements made by the Philippines President regarding the situation of the Filipino manpower in Kuwait, followed by a decision to suspend the employment of Filipino workers, Al-Saleh added.
The Filipino community are appreciated like all other communities in Kuwait, Al-Saleh stressed.
Among the remarks made according to the statement of the Deputy Foreign Minister, that the Filipino people in Kuwait are treated well as other nationalities.
There are practices that are forbidden by law and the law applies to everyone, he added.