MANILA

Palace backs call for review of labor deal with Kuwait

THERE is a need to review the labor agreement signed between the Philippines and Kuwait in the wake of the death of a Filipino household service worker at the hands of her employer in the Gulf state, Malacañang said on Monday, May 20.

In a press conference, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Palace supports the call to revisit the provisions of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) aimed at protecting the labor rights of overseas Filipino workers in Kuwait.

"I think we should because according to [Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III], there has been a breach in the agreement signed by the two countries," Panelo said.

The Philippines and Kuwait signed the MOA for the protection of Filipino workers in May 2018. The labor agreement was signed after Duterte ordered a ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait, amid reports of abuses against Filipino household workers in the Arab state.

Under the MOA, the Philippines and Kuwait 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."

Constancia Lago Dayag, a household service worker in Kuwait, died at the hands of her employer last week.

Dayag, a 47-year-old worker from Agadanan, Isabela, returned to the Gulf nation in 2018 based on a second contract with her Kuwaiti employer, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said his agency is now considering the re-imposition of the deployment ban, following Dayag's death.

Panelo said the Palace would await Bello's recommendation.

"Secretary Bello is handling it well. We will wait for the report of Secretary Bello regarding this incident," he said.

"The Secretary of Labor has already issued an official statement. He's putting the government of Kuwait to task for the murder of our countryman. He is investigating it and the DFA is waiting for a note of his report," the Palace official added. (SunStar Philippines)


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