Philippines supports safeguards for Kuwaiti laborers


In the midst of a diplomatic impasse over a recent entrance prohibition on newly hired employees, the Philippine government defended its protective measures for migrant workers in Kuwait on Thursday.

Kuwait, where more than 200,000 Filipinos, primarily women, are employed, last week halted the issuing of new visas to anybody who did not already have a resident permit, including tourists, students, and businesspeople.

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This week, Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega said that the embargo could have been in retaliation for Kuwait delaying the deployment of domestic servants to the Philippines in light of the January murder of a Filipina maid.

Another problem, according to De Vega, was the Philippine Embassy’s refuge for fugitive workers in Kuwait, which was supposedly against Kuwaiti law.

This week, a government delegation was in Kuwait to clarify the situation and handle any bilateral labor disputes, but little progress was made during the discussions.

“They maintain that we’re breaking their legislation. As a result, nothing has changed. Future conversations will be necessary, De Vega told reporters in Manila.”

“A long-term answer is what we want…  A long-term solution of this nature won’t be reached in a single conversation.”

In order to persuade another nation to engage Filipino workers, he continued, it would be “dishonorable” to flout Philippine rules that require embassy-run shelters for migrant workers.

The Department of Migrant Workers and the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines stated in a joint statement that the delegation from their country “expressed its full respect for Kuwaiti laws and profound appreciation for the hospitality of its government and people” for hosting Filipino workers.

The team “explained that all actions taken by the Philippine Embassy and the Philippine government are solely to ensure the safety and welfare of our own nationals on issues related to services being rendered to our migrant workers,” according to the statement.

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Statistics from the Department of Migrant Workers show that there were more than 24,000 incidents of abuse and violations against Filipino workers in Kuwait in 2017 compared to just 6,500 incidents in 2016.

The murder of Jullebee Ranara, 35, whose burned remains were found in Kuwait’s desert in late January, was not the only incident of this kind that led the Philippine government to carefully examine the status of its citizens.



Hashim Sheikh: He is a comprehensive personality whose personality has many social, philosophical and mystical aspects besides scientific and cultural characteristics. He writes many articles and also writes poetry from time to time.

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