In the midst of the shaky developments in the bilateral ties of the Philippines and Kuwait, OFWs in the Gulf State can now enjoy strengthened protection from their country of residence after the signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Philippines and Kuwait last May 11.
The diplomatic meeting for the Agreement Signing regarding the Employment of Domestic Workers in Kuwait was presided by the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Alan Peter Cayetano and Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al Hamad Al Sabah.
PHL, Kuwait Formally Ink Agreement on Protection of OFWs
Among the convoy of Philippine officials and witnesses who graced this event were Philippine Labour and Employment Undersecretary Mr. Silvestre Bello III, Pres. Spokesperson Harry Roque and the newly-appointed Special Envoy to Kuwait, Mohammad Mama-o as well as their Kuwaiti counterparts.
The MOA underscores, among others, that OFWs, particularly domestic workers, will be given access to speedy legal assistance as the need arises.
Furthermore, the MOA mandates all Kuwaiti employers be held responsible for the provision of basic necessities which include housing, food, clothing, as well as health insurance for their employees. Also, Kuwaiti employers no longer have the right to keep their employees’ passport. All OFWs are to be granted access and use of their cell phones; at least 7 hours of sleep; and a day-off in a week with pay.
Along with these developments, the Kuwait government has also sanctioned the repatriation of over 600 OFWs in need of assistance in the country wherein about 150 of them are bound to join the Philippine delegation in Kuwait back home.
According to Philippine Presidential Spokesperson, Harry Roque, the three Filipino diplomats who were detained at the Embassy since April due to the charges of ‘kidnapping’ for their participation in the rescue operations of the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait are also bound to return home to the Philippines within the week.