Philippines lifts deployment ban of skilled, semi-skilled workers to KuwaitStaff Writer | May 15, 2018
The Philippines has lifted the deployment ban of skilled and semi-skilled workers to Kuwait, but the ban for domestic helpers stays for now, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.
Asia Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said:
The decision came barely five days after the Philippines and Kuwait signed an agreement that provides "legal protection for Filipino maids in the Gulf State."
Under the agreement, the Philippines and Kuwait undertake "to uphold ethical recruitment policies, systems, and procedures for the recruitment and employment of domestic workers, subject to the applicable laws and regulations of both parties," Roque said on Sunday.
The agreement "ensures employers will provide food, housing, clothing, and the registering of the domestic worker in Kuwait's health insurance system. It also provides one month's salary to workers for every year of service rendered after the expiration of the work contract," Roque said.
Roque said the lifting of the deployment ban for skilled and semi-skilled workers to Kuwait is the next step in the normalization of diplomatic ties with Kuwait.
Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al Hamad Al Sabah signed the agreement on May 11 in Kuwait.
Kuwait is a major labor destination for Filipinos in the Middle East, with over 250,000 currently working there, mostly as domestic helpers.
However, recent incidents of abuses against them, where some resulted in deaths, prompted Manila to enforce a deployment ban for Filipino workers earlier this year.
The diplomatic row deepened when Philippine embassy officials rescued distressed Filipino maids in Kuwait and posted a video of the rescue mission that went viral online. Kuwait was angered by the move and recalled its envoy in Manila.
The Philippine government sent a team to Kuwait to mend ties with the Gulf state. ■