Kuwait condemns Manila ban on Filipino workers


She started working in Kuwait in 2014, to help her family and support her siblings, one of whom finished a course in criminology, family members said.

"We are surprised and we condemn statements from the Philippine president, especially as we are in contact with the Philippines on a high level to explain the workers' conditions in Kuwait", said Kuwait's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid al-Sabah.

'We are particularly keen on finding alternative employment in countries such as Oman and Bahrain, both of which are signatories to the relevant International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention that protects migrant workers, Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr said in a news briefing yesterday. "Kuwait, under worldwide law, has a legal obligation to provide legal redress for the victims, Filipino victims of these horrendous crimes in Kuwait", Roque said during a Palace press briefing.

Kuwait's embassy in Manila declined to comment.

Duterte on Friday brandished photos purporting to show a Filipina maid found in a freezer, saying she had been "roasted like a pig".

Bello assured Filipino workers who would be repatriated from Kuwait as well as those who would be affected by the ban that they will be assisted in finding alternative employment in the Philippines or overseas.

The order came after the government received numerous complaints from OFWs in Kuwait such as maltreatment, including non-payment of salaries, rape, and verbal and physical abuse.

The DOLE official said they still have to thresh out other details, specifically on the workers that would be covered by the order. Eight-hundred of them are arriving in the country this week.

Duterte said he was elated by the safe arrival of the Filipino workers from Kuwait.

Duterte is set to welcome 127 overseas Filipino workers (OFW) from Kuwait on Tuesday night at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1. "Our words and action simply do not match".

Duterte has also offered assistance to Filipinos wanting to leave Kuwait and keep the ban on the deployment of workers due to concerns on abuse and exploitation.

Arman Hernando, head of Migrante-Philippines, a migrant workers' group, said the ban would serve as a wake-up call for the Kuwaiti government to respect Filipino workers. "It is totally, totally unacceptable to me", Duterte said.

Sources at the Civil Aviation Directorate told Kuwait Times that 410 Filipinos left Kuwait on Sunday.

"But a total ban is not the solution". Hopefully, there will be bilateral agreements soon, Roque said.

"The fact that many of our OFWs are exposed to, and have been victims of rights abuses says something about the government's effectivity in protecting our OFWs", he said.