Duterte bares ‘mandatory provisions’ in PH-Kuwait OFW deal
President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday bared the “mandatory provisions” in the final draft of the deal between the Philippines and Kuwait to protect overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Gulf state.
Duterte said he was late during the graduation of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) Maragtas Class of 2018 in Silang, Cavite because he had to work with Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on the final draft of the bilateral agreement between Manila and Kuwait on protecting the rights of OFWs.
“Honestly, I was late because we were working on the final draft that will be brought to Kuwait by Secretary Bello and I added some requirements,” he said.
The President said he wanted the deal to be a government-to-government contract.
“I demanded that it will be a contract — government-to-government — and that there will be some mandatory provisions like they should be allowed to sleep at least seven hours a day, that they will be fed na nutritious food. And we will not allow left overs to be eaten by our countrymen, palutuin sila ng kanila,” he said.
Duterte said included in the deal was to prohibit the practice of Kuwaiti employers of confiscating the passports of OFWs.
“Then there will be no confiscation of passports by employers, if at all, it will be surrendered diyan sa tables, sa arrivals of any countries where the Filipinos are working in numbers,” he said.
OFWs, he said, should also be allowed to have holidays.
“And fifth is that they should be allowed holidays and everything,” he said.
He reiterated that Filipinos were not slaves of any country.
“I do not mean to offend [those] who are employing Filipinos abroad. I said that we are not slaves,” he said.
Duterte had earlier ordered the total deployment ban of OFWs in Kuwait following the abuses of domestic helpers in the Gulf State.
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