Kuwait and Philippines Explore Solutions for Worker Shelter Dispute

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A photo from the Filipino and Kuwaiti officials meeting.

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 4: In response to the ongoing crisis surrounding the adherence of Filipino workers to labor shelters established by their embassy in Kuwait — a move deemed illegal by Kuwait — the two nations are gearing up for virtual meetings via the “Zoom” program. Informed sources have indicated that these discussions aim to find a resolution, potentially by revisiting the terms of the bilateral memorandum of understanding between Kuwait and the Philippines.

The proposed solution involves incorporating clauses related to the rights of Filipino workers, effectively eliminating the justifications presented by the Manila Embassy for establishing shelters. Abdulaziz Al-Ali, advisor to the Kuwaiti Union for Domestic Workers Recruitment Office Owners, shared insights with Al-Jarida, revealing that the Union’s delegation engaged with Filipino officials.

According to Al-Ali, the Philippine Minister of Migrant Forces focused on finalizing the memorandum of understanding between the two countries to optimize the recruitment process. Al-Ali stressed the urgency of resolving this issue promptly, particularly with the impending month of Ramadan.

The Kuwaiti Union’s visit to the Ministry of Migrant Labor in the Philippine EDSA region, based on an invitation, included meetings with the Acting Minister of Migrant Forces and the Philippine Minister. They provided updates on the talks and bilateral discussions between officials of both countries regarding the resumption of the domestic workers’ recruitment process.

Praising these meetings’ positive and fruitful nature, Al-Ali highlighted the cooperation between the Kuwaiti and Filipino federations. The Minister commended the efforts of the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry and the Public Authority for Manpower, expressing confidence in reaching an optimal solution for the recruitment process.

Al-Ali emphasized the significance of Filipino workers, noting their preference among Kuwaiti and expatriate families due to factors such as ease of communication, a good educational level, and familiarity with community customs. The goal of the visit was to streamline the recruitment process, particularly as Ramadan approaches.

The meeting concluded with an emphasis on the strong relations between the two countries and the anticipation of joint efforts resulting in a memorandum of understanding soon. This memorandum aims to streamline the recruitment procedures, ending the current challenges faced by both nations in this crucial aspect.

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