Kuwait visit update

The Office of the Presidential Spokesperson announces that the Philippine delegation to Kuwait met with some officials of the Kuwaiti government to discuss matters concerning the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Arab country.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III were joined by former Labor Secretary Marianito Roque, Labor Attache Rustico Dela Fuente, and Deputy Chief of Mission in Kuwait Mohd Noordin Lomondot, in meeting with Kuwait’s Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and Minister of State for Economic Development H.E. Hind Sabeeh Barrak Al-Sabeeh.

During the meeting, Minister Al-Sabeeh discussed the formulation and possible amendment of a model employment contract for all domestic helpers from 91 countries, who are currently working in Kuwait. Under the model contract, workers would enjoy the following: one day off, a 12-hour sleep or rest period, protection from physical abuse, and the right to a decent meal.

The Philippines is currently the fourth country with the largest number of domestic helpers employed in Kuwait.

Minister Al-Sabeeh also made mention of Kuwait’s desire to be known as a center for humanitarian concerns, adding that the mandate of the Emir of Kuwait is for all human beings in their country “to have a happy life.”

She also announced the transfer of jurisdiction over domestic helpers from the Interior Ministry to the Labor Ministry, signifying the government’s intention to subject domestic helpers to the same terms and conditions offered to skilled and semi-skilled workers.

Also, Minister Al-Sabeeh looks forward to the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement for OFW protection in Kuwait, which is expected to take place this Friday.

Meanwhile, the Philippine delegation also met with Kuwait’s Deputy Foreign Minister H.E. Al-Khaled Sulaiman Al-Jarallah, who assured the visiting Filipino officials that the release of the three Filipino diplomats are now being worked out with the Interior Ministry. The diplomats are expected to be released in two to three days.

The Deputy Foreign Minister also said that, save for around 62 undocumented Filipino nationals, the Kuwaiti government would allow more than 500 remaining undocumented Filipinos in their country to go home at Kuwait’s expense.

Lastly, Secretary Roque and Secretary Bello had met with a member of the Al-Sabah family, who asked the Presidential Spokesperson to deliver a personal message to the President of the Philippines.

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