Cayetano: Kuwait assures PH of 'firm commitment' to protect OFWs

Malacañang on Tuesday announced that President Rodrigo R. Duterte has designated Secretary Abdullah Mama-o as special envoy to Kuwait

Upon arrival at the Kuwait International Airport on Thursday, Cayetano was joined by Kuwaiti Ambassador to Manila Musaed Saleh Ahmad Althwaikh and Philippine Consul General Noordin Lomondot.

Philippine and Kuwaiti officials will sign on Friday the proposed labor deal protecting the welfare of Filipino workers. "I had a pull aside meeting with the member of Assad family-sila yung ruling Emir-at meron namang pinadala sa aking personal message to the President which I have relayed to the President", Roque said.

"A short time ago we signed an agreement between the two countries on the employment of domestic workers", Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khaled al-Sabah told a joint press conference with his Filipino counterpart Alan Peter Cayetano.

A Philippine delegation, composed of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and other labor officials are also in Kuwait to discuss the spat and witness the possible signing of the memorandum of understanding Friday (May 11, 2018).

"The diplomats are expected to be released in two to three days", Roque said in a statement sent to media.

More news: Boeing, Airbus Will Lose $39 Billion After Iran Deal Withdrawal — WashPost

The spokesman said that a special Kuwaiti police unit would liaise with Philippine authorities over complaints of abuse by Filipino workers and a 24-hour hotline would be provided to allow workers to call for assistance.

Under the model contract, workers would enjoy the following: one day off, a 12-hour sleep or rest period, protection from physical abuse, and the right to a decent meal.

Earlier, a top Kuwaiti official declared that the diplomatic row between the Philippines and Kuwait sparked by the video footages showing a Filipino domestic helper being rescued from the household of her employer should be considered a "thing of the past". Thousands of Filipino workers in Kuwait have been repatriated since.

Roque said tomorrow they will be visiting the Filipino community in Kuwait who are living in shelters.

With the positive developments on their efforts to mend strained relations, Cayetano said he was confident the three diplomats still holed up at the Embassy would be allowed to safely exit the Gulf state.

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