Overseas Filipino workers arrive home from the Middle East (PHOTOVILLE International)
KUWAIT – The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait reported the overwhelming increase in the number of job orders from Kuwaiti employers for overseas Filipino workers in the Gulf State.
This, after President Rodrigo Duterte lifted the total deployment ban on Filipino workers to Kuwait and finally signed a labor agreement ensuring the protection of OFWs.
“Hindi po bumababa sa 40 hanggang 50 na mga bagong employer ang nagsasadya sa embahada, dito po sa POLO, upang magpa-proseso ng kanilang mga dokumento,” attested Labor Attache Resty Dela Fuente.
Dela Fuente said they have been very strict when it comes to the screening of job order applications in consideration with the provisions set in the labor agreement on the security and safety of Filipino workers, especially the household helpers.
The agreement states that Kuwaiti employers shall allow Filipino domestic helpers to have enough resting hours, possess cellphones, enjoy holidays and rest days, and keep their passports with them.
However, Dela Fuente clarified that the two governments are still discussing and finalizing some more details in order to expedite the processing of applications of Filipino workers to the Gulf State.
“Talagang nagkakaroon ng mga kaunting mga adjustment pa. Nagiging bukas bawat isa. Sinasabi sa ating ng mga employer, sinasabi rin ng kanilang pamahalaan kung ano yung dapat pang i-improve,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) directed Foreign Recruitment Agencies (FRAs) to observe proper recruitment guidelines in accepting applications for Filipino household service workers.
“Para din po yun sa safety ng mga manggagawa ay ma-secure natin lalong lalo na po yung household service workers na kababaihan, alam na po natin nasa Muslim country kaya dapat may proteksyon…dapat isama na rin more training at wag po i-deploy ang hindi po nakapag-training,” said Ana Del Mundo, vice chair of the Philippine Society of Marketing Specialist Kuwait.
Despite the positive developments, Del Mundo said it is still necessary for the Philippine government to send an ambassador who will maneuver the actions of the embassy in further protecting the Filipinos in Kuwait.
“Ang role ng isang ambassador ay isang ama ng lahat ng Filipino dito… Hindi ba po mas effective ang isang tahanan kung may ama dahil siya ang guide? Siya ang navigator,” concluded Del Mundo.
The Philippine-Kuwait labor agreement on OFW protection suffered intense setbacks following a diplomatic row between the two governments over a controversial rescue mission of some distressed OFWs.
President Duterte has not yet appointed a new ambassador to Kuwait after the latter declared former Ambassador Renato Pedro Villa a persona non grata in line with the controversy. – Mylene Soriano / Marje Pelayo