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Kuwait, Manila seek to resolve labor issues

KUWAIT: Informed sources said the Philippine visa ban issue will be resolved before the end the year, adding that recent communications took place between the two countries and it was agreed that a meeting will be held between the two sides to sign a new labor agreement that satisfies both sides.

Sources said Philippines will not object to Kuwait conditions to not open new shelters for absconding workers, cancel the high financial deposits imposed on Kuwaiti labor offices and undertake to respect Kuwaiti laws, provided that Kuwait will have a clear workplan on how to guarantee Philippine domestic workers’ rights in case disputes occur between them and their employers and how to protect them in case they refuse to work for their sponsors.

The sources said Manila wants to decide on certain points that must be agreed on, on how to provide Filipino domestic workers their rights, working hours and salaries, adding Kuwait does not see these matters as obstacles, provided salaries are not inflated. The sources said Kuwait and Philippines may hold a meeting within two months to reach a new labor agreement.

Kuwait suspended all types of work and entry visas for Filipinos in May after the country allegedly violated a bilateral labor agreement with the state. In February, the Philippines halted the deployment of first-time workers, especially domestic helpers, to Kuwait following the gruesome murder of a 35-year-old Filipina maid by a Kuwaiti teenager.

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