THE Philippine government has partially lifted the ban on deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Kuwait by allowing "skilled" and "semi-skilled" Filipinos to seek jobs in the Gulf nation.
This was announced by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. upon his arrival in Manila from Kuwait late Saturday night, May 12.
Roque said sending skilled and semi-skilled Filipino workers to Kuwait is the "next step" of the two nations' commitment to "normalize" their ties following a diplomatic row that stemmed from the problems encountered by OFWs in the Arab country.
The partial lifting of the deployment ban came after Kuwait and the Philippines signed Friday, May 11, a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on employment of Filipino domestic workers in tbe Gulf state.
"There has been a declaration between the two countries to end the rift and we will move on. So ghe first step in moving on is the MOA," Roque said.
"The lifting of the deployment ban for skilled and semi-skilled workers to Kuwait is the next step in the normalization of diplomatic ties with Kuwait," he added.
The agreement on OFWs' protection mandates Kuwaiti employers to ensure that the labor rights of their domestic helpers are upheld.
Under the agreement, the Philippines and Kuwait also agree to "uphold ethical recruitment policies, systems, and procedures for the recruitment and employment of domestic workers, subject to applicable laws and regulations of both parties."
Roque said the Philippine government is also considering the lifting of the deployment ban on domestic Filipino workers "soon."
But before the absolute lifting of the deployment ban, Roque said Labor Secretary Silvestro Bello III would implement reforms on the recruitment of domestic workers.
"There will be a mandatory training that will be paid by recruiters since they get big commission from the recruitment fee that they charged to Kuwaiti who wany to employ domestic workers," the Palace official said.
"In that sense, the adjustment will not be difficult for domestic workers in Kuwait," he added. (SunStar Philippines)