Philippines Sends Officials to Kuwait after Diplomatic Fallout

Philippines Sends Officials to Kuwait after Diplomatic Fallout

Cayetano said there is an urgent need to rescue all distressed OFWs in Kuwait due to incidents of serious abuses and threats.

AFTER several months of negotiations, the Philippines and Kuwait finally signed a pact that will give overseas FIlipino workers (OFWs) an assurance that they will be protected and treated equally in the Arab nation.

Doubts over the future of more than 260,000 Filipino workers in Kuwait eased after Philippine officials announced a breakthrough in efforts to normalize relations between the Southeast Asian nation and the Gulf state.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, who left Tuesday night to join the team led by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello, said the Philippine delegation met with their counterparts and that both countries look forward to the normalization of ties.

The breakthrough came after separate meetings with Kuwait's Interior Minister Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah; Social Affairs and Labor Minister Hind Sabeeh Barak Al-Sabeeh and Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah.

Earlier, a top Kuwaiti official declared that the diplomatic row between the Philippines and Kuwait sparked by the video footages showing a Filipino domestic helper being rescued from the household of her employer should be considered a "thing of the past".

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The proposed labor deal would include provisions such as no confiscation of passport - depositing instead with the Philippine embassy, seven hours of sleep, a day off, permission to cook food, and no physical abuse.

"Kuwait has expressed the value of Filipinos in Kuwait".

Roque said Kuwait agreed to create a special unit within its police force that the Philippine embassy can contact at all hours in cases of complaints by Filipino workers.

The Philippine officials in Kuwait will return home on Saturday, along with an initial batch of 80 undocumented Filipino workers, with the Kuwaiti government shouldering the airfare expenses.

The three Filipino diplomats ordered arrested by Kuwait authorities are expected to be released in two to three days, Malacañang said on Thursday.

"Housemaids will follow, but we want to see the immediate effect of the agreement, which we are going to sign on Friday, he said, according to Kuwait Times".

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