PH, Kuwait to sign MOA on OFWs

May 10, 2018

The Philippine government and Kuwait have agreed to sign the memorandum of agreement (MOA) that would provide better treatment to overseas Filipino workers in the Gulf state, Malacañang said on Wednesday.

The agreement came after Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III met with Kuwaiti officials in Kuwait on Wednesday.

“A Memorandum of Agreement is expected to be signed and agreed upon after the meeting,” Roque said in a statement.

He said the four Filipino drivers who were arrested by Kuwaiti officials for helping in the controversial rescue of OFWs were also released.

“The meeting of officials between the two countries likewise saw the release of four drivers,” he said.

Roque and Bello flew to Kuwait upon the order of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Roque said the Philippine officials met with Kuwaiti officials and “look forward to the normalization of ties.”

The Palace official said Kuwait “has expressed the value of Filipinos in Kuwait.”

“Kuwait agreed to create a Special Unit within the Police that the Philippine Embassy can liaison with regarding complaints of Filipino workers which will be available 24 hours and a Special Number that Filipino workers can call for assistance (also available 24 Hours),” he said.

Kuwait has “guaranteed that all remaining undocumented Filipinos (under 600), except for those with pending cases, will be allowed to go home – at least 150 of them will be joining the Philippine officials in returning to the Philippines.”

Other officials who joined Roque and Bello were former Labor Secretary Marianito Roque, Labor Attaché Rustico dela Fuente, and Deputy Chief of Mission in Kuwait Mohd Noordin Lomondot.

The MOA between the Philippines and Kuwait was in limbo after the rescue of Filipino domestic workers in Kuwait that angered the Kuwaiti government, citing it was a violation of the state’s sovereignty.