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Kuwait officials arriving in Manila to negotiate OFW pact

MANILA, Philippines – An 8-member delegation of Kuwaiti officials will arrive in Manila to negotiate a proposed agreement to protect the welfare of Filipino domestic workers, said the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

The negotiations will take place from Thursday to Friday, March 15 to 16. 

The proposed pact is called the "Agreement on Domestic Workers' Recruitment, Employment, and Protection between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the State of Kuwait." 

In a statement, Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano explained, "President Duterte wants this agreement to be different from the other agreements we signed with other countries by making sure that whatever is written there will translate into real, actionable measures that will protect our kababayans (countrymen) from exploitation and abuse." 

Cayetano earlier said Kuwait has agreed to the following conditions for Filipino domestic workers: a minimum monthly salary of KD120 (P20,700), 8 hours of rest per day, possession of their passports and mobile phones, and limiting their work to one household. 

The negotiations come after the Philippines banned the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Kuwait due to abuses against them. The most controversial case involves Joanna Demafelis, an OFW in Kuwait who was found dead in a freezer. – Rappler.com

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.

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