Talal Al-Ghannam

Good morning, dear and honorable brothers and sisters. In this article I would like to talk about the recent decision by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte to ban his fellow nationals from traveling and working in Kuwait due to what he said is bad treatment by many sponsors.

First of all, allow me, Mr President, to thank you very much for your concern over your country's nationals - I call this a big sacrifice when a president of any country stands up for the rights of his citizens.

Your statement about mistreatment by many sponsors in Kuwait can take place in any country, and I agree with you that these bad sponsors must be brought to justice to be punished. A few cases that happened here and there necessitate that stiffer action be taken against these sponsors who defame the bright image of Kuwait in international arenas.

The government of Kuwait must act harshly with these inhumane cases of mistreatment and manslaughter against any person of any nationality who came here to seek a decent living in a country labeled by the United Nations as a center for humanitarian action and its leader His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah as a humanitarian leader. Every national who arrives in Kuwait for a decent living must be respected and provided with the fullest security and peace. We do not want to be labeled as unjust and unfair sponsors.

On the other hand, Mr President, if you interview the majority of your countrymen and women, they will say that they are receiving great treatment and enjoy being here as great friends of Kuwait. There are a few cases that suffer a lot from their inhumane sponsors, but this does not reach to banning a great segment of your country's population from seeking a better living condition elsewhere.

If the economic conditions in the Philippines were good, those workers would not have left the country in search for a better life. In this case, you would also be banning them from seeking work in the entire Gulf. There are many bad cases in the Middle East and Europe too, but not to the extent of what is happening in this region. Kuwait and the Philippines enjoy excellent bilateral relations and I hope that these few cases will not jeopardize such great ties. I would like to note what the Philippines ambassador to Kuwait said - that the majority of the Filipino community here is satisfied.

Thank you Mr President.

By Talal Al-Ghannam

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