Sheikh Talal Al-Khaled, Kuwait's First Deputy Prime Minister, Interior Minister, and Acting Defense Minister, reiterated Kuwait's commitment to safeguarding its sovereignty as negotiations with the Philippine government came to an end. Kuwait declared it would continue to suspend all types of visas for Filipinos, according to Al-Jarida. The decision to stop the issuance of visas for 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.
Kuwait remains committed to upholding international agreements between the two nations, while renewing residence permits for workers who possess valid permits and wish to remain 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.
On its website, the Public Authority for Manpower 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.
It was also mentioned that Kuwaiti authorities were not consulted when employers were renewing their contracts and that they contacted citizens 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. Furthermore, the embassy is required to inform the government of this recognition and pledge, as well as publish it in official media outlets.
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