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Duterte names special envoy to Kuwait – Filipinos cared for by State: Kuwait

Abdullah Mamao

MANILA, May 8, (Agencies): The Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has named Abdullah Mamao as special envoy of his country to Kuwait following the diplomatic spat between both countries, says gmanetwork.com.

Kuwait and the Philippines are at a center of dispute following the rescue of ‘distressed’ Filipino domestic workers by the embassy staff from the home of their sponsors, a charge viewed by the Philippines from a different angle.

However, Duterte’s spokesperson, Harry Roque, said Mamao, the president’s adviser on OFW concerns, will fly to Kuwait to assist Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who wish to be repatriated to the Philippines.

“There’s about 800 runaways that we want to bring home. So the mandate of Secretary Mamao is to bring everyone home and to possibly normalize ties with Kuwait, sign the (memorandum of understanding on OFWs protection) if possible,” Roque said at the Malacanang press briefing.

Roque also said the government wanted the repatriation of the three diplomats charged by Kuwaiti authorities with kidnapping over the controversial rescue of distressed OFWs. “We want to see our three diplomats home. We want the four drivers (hired by the Philippine Embassy) completely cleared because these are residents of Kuwait,” he added.

Mamao was earlier assigned in 2016 to facilitate the repatriation of thousands of Filipino migrant workers in Saudi Arabia who were laid off due to a slide in oil prices worldwide.

Meanwhile, Filipinos are among the third largest communities in Kuwait and they are very well cared for by the State, said Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs, Mohammed Al-Jabri.

Al-Jabri made the remark Tuesday after a meeting with the visiting former Philippine minister of information Francisco Tatad and an accompanying delegation. According to a statement by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Information, Al-Jabri recalled during the meeting the initial stance by Philippines in the aftermath of the 1990 Iraqi brutal invasion of Kuwait. He highly appreciated Philippines support to just causes.

Meanwhile, Al-Jabri noted that it is integral to the ministry’s policy to build bridges of communication between the relevant State bodies and expats in Kuwait.

This is obvious in the allocation of hours in Filipino by the Kuwait Radio. In a separate meeting, Al-Jabri and the Japanese Ambassador to Kuwait Takashi Ashiki discussed today means of boosting bilateral media, cultural and youth cooperation.

They reviewed historical ties between Kuwait and Japan, generously cared for by leadership of both countries. Ministry of Foreign Affairs has requested Ministry of Interior to provide it with contents of the agreements signed between the Philippines and a number of countries concerning domestic labor, reports Al-Anba daily quoting informed security sources.

They said Director of Domestic Labor Department Mohammad Al-Ajmi sent a letter with details of the agreements particularly of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, adding that these details include the arrangements and conditions as well as the costs for hiring domestic workers and the amount taken by recruitment agencies.

The sources explained that the agreement between the Philippines, and the United Arab Emirates and Jordan necessitate designing awareness programs for domestic workers, and providing employers and domestic workers with guidance manuals on their responsibilities.

In addition, the agreement between the Philippines and Jordan obliges domestic labor recruitment agencies to submit medical certificates concerning the mental status of the domestic workers and subject the latter to medical checkups.

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