MANILA — Malacañang on Monday said that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is currently “working out” efforts to send repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Kuwait to other countries such as China.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III is finalizing the mechanism to redeploy the repatriated OFWs.
“I think the Labor Secretary is finalizing the mechanism by which we can deploy workers to China as an alternative destination. So that’s being worked out,” Roque said in a Palace briefing.
In a recent TV interview, Bello said that aside from China, Russia is also being eyed as another country to redeploy them.
Roque, meanwhile, expressed hope that there will be bilateral agreements between the Philippines and China in relation to the redeployment of OFWs will be signed soon.
Although he earlier said that President Rodrigo Duterte may likely visit Kuwait following the former’s recent meeting with Kuwaiti Ambassador to the Philippines Saleh Ahmad Althwaikh, Roque said that he does not know if the trip would push through.
Duterte and the Kuwaiti envoy held a closed door meeting last week amid issues involving OFWs in Kuwait.
”I do not even know if that (trip) will push though,” Roque said.
Roque also reassured that the Philippine government will hold Kuwait responsible under the concept of state responsibility.
“Kuwait, under international law, has a legal obligation to provide legal redress for the victims, Filipino victims of these horrendous crimes in Kuwait. And of course, if Kuwait fails in this regard, then it will incur international responsibility for an internationally wrongful act,” Roque said.
To date, the DOLE has enforced an administrative order banning deployment of all Filipino workers to Kuwait.
This after after President Rodrigo R. Duterte castigated reported abuses and inhumane treatment of Filipino domestic helpers in the Gulf state.