New round of talks: Kuwait and Philippines aim for agreement on domestic workers

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Kuwaiti-Philippine discussions focus on domestic worker resumption.

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 28: In response to the rapidly worsening domestic worker shortage crisis, exacerbated by Sri Lanka revising recruitment prices, Kuwait and the Philippines are currently engaged in discussions to bridge the gap. Al-Jarida has learned from reliable sources that officials from both countries are aiming to convene at the dialogue table to find common ground. The objective is to facilitate the resumption of sending new domestic workers from Manila, particularly with the upcoming month of Ramadan, during which demand for these services traditionally surges.

Sources indicate that the discussions are expected to take place virtually, utilizing platforms such as “Zoom.” Bassam Al-Shammari, an expert in domestic labor affairs, informed Al-Jarida that Kuwaiti government agencies, including the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Interior, along with the Public Authority for Manpower, are currently reviewing the Philippine side’s request to resume operations. It is emphasized that negotiations will occur through virtual meetings rather than traditional official delegations.

Al-Shammari highlighted the urgency for swift and serious government action to finalize the discussions that took place last month in Kuwait. Those discussions were largely positive, but Manila’s insistence on the labor shelters established by its embassy in Kuwait poses a challenge.

Al-Shammari warned of an imminent labor shortage crisis in the Kuwaiti market over the next two months unless the government promptly addresses obstacles hindering local recruitment offices. These offices play a crucial role in bringing in new workers who can fulfill the demands and needs of citizens. He noted that approximately 200,000 Filipino domestic workers constitute 50 percent of the total domestic workforce in Kuwait, underscoring their significance to both Kuwaiti and expatriate families due to their ease of communication and high educational levels, as well as their familiarity with local customs and traditions.

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