CAPAS, Tarlac — Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday said given the deployment ban imposed by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Kuwait, the agency would continue to discuss the issue with Kuwaiti counterparts.
In an interview, Cayetano told reporters that the Kuwaiti deputy foreign minister had already met with the Philippine ambassador following the threat of President Rodrigo Duterte to implement a total deployment ban in the country as reports of abuses leading to suicides of Filipinos surface.
“I can confirm to you that the deputy foreign minister of Kuwait met with our ambassador and there have been some substantive discussion, some acknowledgement not only of our good relations but things that need to be done,” he said, adding the Kuwaiti ambassador on the other hand met with the country’s head of mission in the Middle East.
“Because DOLE went ahead in announcing already, nandiyan na ‘yan, we’re working around that,” he added.
Cayetano admitted that the Kuwaitis were “shocked” with the labor department’s decision as they were originally expecting a dialogue first.
“But like anything else, there’s a silver lining. Now that they know and all countries around the world that despite our need, our people’s need to have markets to go to, people to serve to make money, we won’t hesitate in instituting a ban if their safety is at stake.”
Cayetano said that after an initial report, he will be sending a second report to President Rodrigo Duterte today. No details were provided as to the report’s contents.
On Thursday, Duterte said he is aware of abuses inflicted upon Filipinos in Kuwait, leading to several suicides in the recent months. With this, he warned of a total ban in the state should “correction” be deemed unsuccessful.