Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is set to meet His Highness Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah of Kuwait. The said meeting is intended for two countries to come up with an agreement which will regulate Filipino workers in the said country. It will take place either the first week or the second week of March 2018.
Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah announced Duterte’s meeting in Kuwait after an invitation was sent by the Amir. He further claimed that there is a drafted agreement which is for review by both countries as proposed by Philippine officials particularly to address the unfortunate experiences of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) working in Kuwait.
“The Philippine president will visit the country after the Amir sent an invitation to the president. The visit will – God willing – take place in the first or second week of March.”
“We have been presented with the draft agreement which will be signed by Kuwait and the Philippines. Concerned authorities (in Kuwait) have reviewed the draft.”
According to Jarallah, the two heads of state are on their way to calm the situation by handling the problem accordingly.
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
Looking back, it was after the mysterious deaths of Filipino domestic helpers which triggered Duterte to have thought of issuing an deployment ban of OFWs to Kuwait. This had become an administrative order after the enraged President had instructed the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to issue total deployment ban upon learning the death of Demafelis, an OFW whose dead body was kept inside a freezer for more than a year.
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Following the administrative order, Kuwait had condemned what it considered as an escalation by the Philippines which threatened its bilateral relations when Duterte and its government officials lashed out at Kuwait for maltreatment and abuse of domestic helpers.
This was however categorically denied by Kuwait and stressed that the abuse cases were very limited. They then assured that such cases will be dealt with according to Kuwait’s governing law.
For this reason, the two countries are to meet for a diplomatic dialogue to prevent the escalation and agreed not to use the media.
Meanwhile, official delegates from the Philippines are to arrive in Kuwait today to have talks with Kuwaiti officials to discuss the condition of Filipino workers and the proposed labor agreement before the official visit of Duterte to Kuwait will take place soon.