‘Receiving Filipino domestic workers applications begins’

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KUWAIT CITY, June 25: Kuwait Union of Domestic Labor Offices (KUDLO) Chairman Khaled Al-Dakhnan has confirmed the start of receiving applications for the recruitment of domestic workers from the Philippines. Al-Dakhnan made the announcement shortly after Kuwait and the Philippines reached an agreement to lift the ban on Filipinos, and allow the issuance of all types of entry and work visas for them. He said the union will visit the Philippines next month to strengthen coordination with recruitment agencies there regarding the recruitment mechanisms. “We hope to open more countries for the recruitment of domestic workers to increase the number of offices, so the citizens have more options,” he added.

On the recruitment of workers from Ethiopia, Al-Dakhnan clarified that recruitment has not started since the signing of the agreement. “We are waiting for the visa ban to be lifted urgently to begin the recruitment of Ethiopian workers,” he stated. He thanked First Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Interior Sheikh Fahad Yousuf Al-Sabah for the efforts he exerted in the resumption of the recruitment of Filipino workers.

KABAYAN Partylist Representative Ron P. Salo

In a related development, KABAYAN Partylist Representative Ron P. Salo lauded the Kuwaiti Government, the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) headed by Secretary Hans Cacdac, and the Philippine Embassy officials led by Ambassador to Kuwait Jose Cabrera III for their efforts in resolving the labor issue that has greatly affected both Filipino workers and their employers in Kuwait. The lifting of the ban refl ects the commitment of Sheikh Fahad Al-Yousuf to the Philippine delegation led by Salo when the latter had a courtesy call with Sheikh Fahad Al-Yousuf on June 13 during his Middle East consultation with the Filipino workers. Ambassador

Cabrera, Labor Attaché Manuel Dimaano and former Representative Paul Hernandez were with Salo during the courtesy call. In a recent press statement, Salo said: “We thank Sheikh Fahad Al-Yousuf and the Kuwaiti Government for opening their doors to Filipinos to be able to work in Kuwait. I also thank the DMW led by Secretary Hans Cacdac and the Philippine Embassy officials in Kuwait for ensuring that appropriate measures are in place to provide greater protection for our OFWs working in Kuwait. Such protection will ensure that our OFW’s overseas journey will become worthwhile.”

It has been reported earlier that during his visit, Salo also toured the shelter established by Kuwait for workers who escaped from their sponsors. He had a discussion with most of the Filipino workers living in the shelter — about120 who are awaiting repatriation to the Philippines. He affirmed that the Kuwaiti Government is taking care of the Filipino workers in the shelter, including 21 children. He then disclosed that his visit was aimed at understanding the concerns of Filipino migrant workers in the Middle East and ensuring effective government response. He conducted a Town Hall meeting with the Filipino community (FilCom) at the Philippine Embassy Office in Surra, where various issues such as the visa ban on Filipinos and the diplomatic impasse between the Philippines and Kuwait were discussed in detail. On the challenges that OFWs are facing, Salo cited the significant impact of the visa ban on Filipinos wanting to work in Kuwait, as well as Filipino nationals engaged in overseas employment and businesses in Kuwait.

He mentioned the persistent pleas of OFWs who want to work in Kuwait but are unable to apply for work visas, as well as of OFWs in Kuwait who are unable to go home for fear that they cannot return. He also noted reports of Filipino-owned establishments, particularly restaurants, experiencing closures due to reduced Filipino clientele resulting from the visa restrictions. In response to these challenges, the Philippine government has been actively advocating for measures to enhance the protection and welfare of migrant workers in Kuwait, he added.

He commended Kuwait’s efforts and reiterated the Philippine government’s focus on resolving underlying issues leading to OFWs running away from their employers, such as unpaid salaries, overwork or maltreatment. Meanwhile, data from the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait revealed that there are around 245,000 Filipino workers in Kuwait now; compared to 268,000 before the ban. It also showed that 50 percent of the total domestic labor force in Kuwait are Filipinos. Sheikh Fahad Al-Yousuf mentioned to Salo that all his 18 domestic workers, including the nannies of his grandchildren, are Filipinos. Kuwait’s visa ban on Filipinos and the lost employment opportunities for Filipinos were the subject of the privilege speech of Salo on March 11, 2024; since he himself experienced difficulty in securing a visa in his initial attempt to visit the Filipinos in Kuwait.

By Fares Al-Abdan
Al-Seyassah/Arab Times Staff and Agencies

This news has been read 3061 times!

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