Health Care

Cayetano: Kuwait assures PH of 'firm commitment' to protect OFWs

Cayetano: Kuwait assures PH of 'firm commitment' to protect OFWs”

Speaking from the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait on Wednesday, Roque said: "The Philippines and Kuwait look forward to the normalization of ties".

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.

Roque also said in a press briefing via Facebook live in Kuwait Wednesday evening that the President's demands for the Kuwaiti government were included in agreement, particularly that Filipino workers get seven hours of sleep, are well-fed, get to enjoy holidays and won't have their passports confiscated by their employers.

Among those who witnessed the signing were Special Envoy Abdullah Dabs Mama-o, Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III and other and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and their Kuwaiti counterparts.

"The diplomats are expected to be released in two to three days", Roque said in a statement sent to media.

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.

The spokesman said that a special Kuwaiti police unit would liaise with Philippine authorities over complaints of abuse by Filipino workers and a 24-hour hotline would be provided to allow workers to call for assistance.

Kuwait expelled envoy Renato Villa after declaring him unacceptable following an embassy-coordinated rescue of Filipino domestic helpers who allegedly had been allegedly abused by their employers.

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

Cayetano said President Rodrigo Duterte had set such commitment as "one of the preconditions" before the Philippine government considers signing the proposed memorandum of agreement for OFWs' welfare in Kuwait.

"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".

With the positive developments on their efforts to mend strained relations, Cayetano said he was confident the three diplomats still holed up at the Embassy would be allowed to safely exit the Gulf state.

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