Saturday , March 24 2018

Former MP takes issue with President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 18: MPs Abdullah Al-Roomi, Riyadh Al-Adsanai, Abdul- Kareem Al-Kandari, Omar Al-Tabtabaei and Adel Al-Damkhi on Sunday discussed a number of important bills; including the conflict of interest bill which is aimed at protecting the legislative authority from political deviation.

Al-Adsani also appealed to the Human Rights Committee to look into the conditions of prisons and inmates, especially their health condition. He said the committee must invite the ministers of Interior and Health to a meeting in order to follow up the issue and then take precautionary measures.

Kamel Al-Awadhi

Meanwhile, former National Assembly member Kamel Al-Awadhi said the statements issued by President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte regarding the situation of Filipino workers in Kuwait are far from the truth. He pointed out it is not good to handle isolated cases emotionally, up to the extent of banning the deployment of Filipino workers and canceling the presidential visit to a country which always welcomes dialogue and cooperation on issues concerning employment.

In a press statement, Al-Awadhi pointed out the Filipino president raised the issue through the media, instead of using diplomatic channels. He hopes the Filipino president will visit Kuwait to personally look into the situation of Filipino workers here before making judgment. He asserted that sensitive issues should not be dealt with in this manner or by taking hasty and unstudied decisions which will only cause losses to both sides, especially the Philippines.

On the demand of the Philippine government that Filipino workers should hold their passports, Al-Awadhi argued the Domestic Workers Law gives the domestic workers freedom to choose whether to hand over their passports to their sponsors for safekeeping or not. On the demand to transfer salaries of these workers to their bank accounts, Al-Awadhi disclosed there have been complaints against citizens who failed to pay salaries on time but these are just few cases that are investigated immediately once the affected worker lodges a complaint at the Domestic Workers Department.

He added the statements of Filipino officials on the maltreatment of workers are in line with that of the president. He considers these statements unjustified and exaggerated, stressing the number of maltreatment cases is very few and the reality is far from the way the president talked about such cases. He reiterated these are isolated cases which do not reflect the nature of peaceful and loving people of Kuwait. He pointed out the percentage of labor-related problems in Kuwait is lower than other countries, affirming the perpetrators are punished in accordance with the law regardless of their nationalities. He cited the arrest of the expatriates accused of killing a Filipino domestic worker through the Interpol as a manifestation of Kuwait’s keenness to solve such cases immediately and in a transparent manner. He said many countries want to send workers to Kuwait due to its good reputation and the privileges granted to workers, emphasizing that the country ensures protection of workers’ rights and dignity.

He added the Filipino president should be aware of the fact that there are 3.5 million expatriates in Kuwait; including more than 200,000 Filipinos. He stressed the country deals with them fairly, indicating the Islamic religion does not allow persecution of others and injustice.

In another development, MP Mohammed Huwailah has called on Minister of Public Works Hossam Al-Roumi to solve the sewage problem in Sabah Al- Ahmad City immediately as it might lead to environmental and health disasters. He said the linking of drainage stations located in a desert area near the city resulted in the spread of insects, not to mention the bad odor emanating from pools of sewage water. He asked the ministry to conduct an environmental survey and then take the necessary measures to prevent an epidemic. He revealed that he raised this issue in the recently concluded meeting of the Environment Committee with officials of the Ministry of Public Works, Environment Public Authority and Ministry of Health. He added, “Flying insects are invading the city in a frightening manner.

These insects might transmit diseases among the residents, particularly the children. There is no room for complacency when the issue affects people’s health.”

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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