DFA asks Kuwait to prolong amnesty for Filipino illegals
Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday said the Philippines had asked Kuwait to extend for another three months its amnesty program for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) illegally staying in the Persian Gulf state.
In a news briefing, Cayetano said about 10,000 overstaying OFWs had yet to be flown back from Kuwait.
So far, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Labor and Employment have repatriated more than 2,000 OFWs from Kuwait since President Duterte declared a total ban on the deployment of Filipinos to the Gulf state amid reported abuses committed against OFWs there.
During their meeting on Thursday, Cayetano said that Kuwaiti Ambassador to the Philippines Saleh Ahmad Althwaikh promised to “work hard” to get the Kuwaiti government to grant Manila’s request.
“We had a candid, frank discussion on (the problems of OFWs in Kuwait) … But (Althwaikh) has to get approval from the highest level (of their government),” the DFA official added.
Cayetano said other countries hosting large numbers of migrant Filipino workers had notified the Philippines of their efforts to improve the working conditions of OFWs in their countries “because they saw the determination of our President.”
He added: “The only thing we’re asking is the dignity of a human being. Don’t look at the citizenship. We are all humans, so treat us like humans.”
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