Kuwait condemns Duterte’s order to repatriate OFWs

By , on February 15, 2018


REPATRIATED OFWs. President Rodrigo R. Duterte interacts with Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) from Kuwait whom he welcomed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City on Feb. 12, 2018. (Simeon Celi Jr./Presidential Photo)
REPATRIATED OFWs. President Rodrigo R. Duterte interacts with Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) from Kuwait whom he welcomed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City on Feb. 12, 2018. (Simeon Celi Jr./Presidential Photo)

Kuwait Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid al-Sabah on Wednesday condemned the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to repatriate Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) from the middle eastern country, saying the action of the Philippine government could affect the ties between Kuwait and the Philippines.

“We actually condemn the statements of the President of the Philippines. And you know we are communicating with the President of the Philippines and with the minister of foreign affairs of the Philippines to try and explain the conditions of work of all Philippines workers,” Kuwait’s foreign minister said at a press conference yesterday with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Two batches of more than 300 repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Kuwait arrived in the country on February 12, Monday after the President asked commercial airlines Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific Air to provide flights for the OFWs.

He pointed out that there are 170,000 Filipinos who are living a decent life in Kuwait, and said that “separate accidents unfortunately happen, and we are providing our Filipino counterparts with the results of the investigations.”

He also stressed that the Kuwaiti government is in direct communication with Filipino authorities to collaborate in the investigations of such cases.

“This escalation will not serve the interests of either Kuwait or the Philippines,” the foreign minister said.

“Only this can help us get to the bottom of it, can help increase the cooperation between the two parties and increase the number of foreign Filipinos working in Kuwait,” he added.

Duterte enforced the total ban following the recent cases of deaths of migrant workers in Kuwait including the death of seven Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the Gulf state and the discovery of a dead body of a migrant worker in freezer.