Manila Push Practical Steps – Progress Praised

Min. salary KD 120, at least 8 hrs rest per day, allowed to keep mobile phones and passport, work only one household

MANILA, March 11, (Agencies): The Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Sunday praised the progress made by the negotiating parties – Kuwait and the Philippines – to the bilateral labor agreement between them, according to news.abs-cbn.

However, the Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said the ban will stay in place until all measures for the safety of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are honored. Cayetano went on to say, “Our negotiations with Kuwait have so far been going well but we need to put in place more practical measures that would ensure the safety and welfare of our kababayans working there.”

According to Cayeteno these measures include payment of salaries direct to the bank account of Filipino workers whenever feasible. He also wants a mechanism that would allow OFWs to directly file complaints with the Kuwaiti authorities, because it is known that some employers pre-empt cases against the Filipinos by filing false charges. “We really must work with Kuwait to ensure we come up with an implementable agreement that would contain guarantees for the protection of our workers,” Cayetano stressed.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Kuwait has what he called ‘informally’ agreed to the demands put forth by the Philippines government for the protection of over 250,000 Filipinos working in Kuwait.

The DFA said Kuwait is committed to guaranteeing Filipino domestic workers a minimum monthly salary of KD120, and rest hours of at least 8 hours per day. Kuwait is also committed to guaranteeing the OFWs to keep their passports in their possession and are allowed to use mobile phones, and to limit their work to only one household.

President Rodrigo Duterte banned the deployment of new OFWs to the oil-rich country after Filipina maid Joanna Demafelis was found dead in a freezer.



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