First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior, and Acting Minister of Defense, Sheikh Talal Al-Khaled, reaffirmed Kuwait’s commitment to safeguarding the nation’s sovereignty as negotiations with the government of the Philippines came to a conclusion with Kuwait declaring its intention to continue the suspension of all types of visas for Filipino workers, reports Al-Jarida daily. The decision to stop the issuance of visas for the Filipino workers was prompted by what Kuwait sees as inappropriate practices by the Philippine embassy in the country, as well as crimes committed by members of the Filipino community residing in Kuwait.
Minister Al-Khaled stressed that Kuwait remains dedicated to upholding the international agreements between the two nations, while continuing to renew residence permits for those workers who possess valid permits and wish to continue working in Kuwait. In the meantime, to address the employment crisis and ensure the availability of skilled workers from various labor-exporting countries, the minister has called for concluding labor agreements for the supply of trained workers to the Kuwaiti market.
Meanwhile, the Public Authority for Manpower, in a statement posted on its website, highlighted the outcomes of the negotiations, including a bilateral meeting between Kuwaiti and Filipino representatives. The meeting was prompted by the Philippine government’s request to discuss the recent visa suspension, which resulted from the Philippine embassy’s actions contrary to the labor agreement between the two countries.
The statement by the Public Authority for Manpower detailed several violations attributed to the Philippines embassy in Kuwait, including instructing domestic labor recruitment offices to interfere when there is a dispute between the house help and the employer (in most cases the Kuwaiti) under false pretexts, pressuring recruitment offices to accommodate workers in private housing in violation of Kuwaiti laws, and assuming the responsibilities of state institutions in apprehending runaway domestic workers.
Other violations mentioned were exerting pressure on employers during contract renewals and contacting citizens and recruitment offices directly without involving the relevant Kuwaiti authorities. In response to these violations, the Kuwaiti side has set forth a series of conditions during the negotiations. These conditions include an acknowledgment and acceptance of responsibility by the Philippine Embassy for their violations, along with an official commitment to refrain from repeating such acts in the future. The embassy is also required to inform its government about this recognition and pledge, with the obligation to publish it in official media channels.
Source- Arab Times.