Christmas just came a lot earlier for Filipinos based in Kuwait, including those in jail, as they received $100 or over P5,000 from President Rodrigo Duterte as Christmas gifts.
As per the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the President sent his “love and care” to Filipinos in Kuwait through the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (OUMWA).
Pres. Duterte Sends Early Christmas Gift to Distressed Filipinos in Kuwait
The early Christmas gift from President Duterte was distributed at an activity that took place from November 26 to 28 at the Philippine Embassy’s halfway shelters and in Kuwaiti prisons such as at the Sulaibiya Central Jail, as shared in a report by the Manila Times.
The Christmas gift-giving program, which was the first project by the embassy since 2016, was funded by the P1-billion Assistance to Nationals (ATN) Fund of the DFA for 2019.
Accordingly, Chargé d’Affaires and Consul General Mohd Noordin Lomondot and DFA OUMWA Executive Director Enrico Fos spearheaded the event and led the distribution of the cash gift and hygiene kits to each of the 265 wards at the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Resource Center and the Kuwait Public Authority for Manpower shelter.
Moreover, as part of ensuring the welfare and custody of Filipinos detained in Kuwait, the group led by Fos also visited the Sulaibiya Central Jail to check on the condition of about 50 Filipinos there.
For his part, Lomondot expressed his gratitude to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola “for making Kuwait the first stop in the DFA’s Christmas gift-giving program for distressed OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) in the Middle East.”
Lomondot shared, “The DFA, through the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait, initiated this gift-giving program as a way of sending the love of President Rodrigo Duterte to our less fortunate kababayan in Kuwait, and as a way of telling our distressed OFWs that their government has not forgotten them.”
Despite their respective situations in Kuwait, Filipinos overseas have always been at the core and heart of the Duterte Administration as he has launched a variety of programs to ensure their safety and welfare in countries where there have been several cases of abuse and violations, including Kuwait and in other parts of the Middle East.
It was even for this reason that the Philippines nearly had cut its ties with Kuwait earlier last year. But, with some legislative changes being lobbied by Filipino authorities in Kuwait, hopefully, 2020 will be an even better year for OFWs in Kuwait.