PH moves to solve Kuwait visa issuance suspension
MANILA, Philippines — Philippines is finding a “mutually satisfactory solution” to the Kuwaiti government’s decision to suspend the issuance of new visas to Filipinos, Department of Foreign Affairs said Friday.
“The Kuwaiti Government has informed the DFA that Kuwait has suspended the issuance of new entry visas for Philippine nationals into Kuwait effective immediately until further notice,” DFA said in a statement.
This is the first time that the agency officially confirmed earlier media reports on the matter.
DFA also maintained Philippines remains firm in its commitment “to discussing and resolving bilateral issues with all countries in an amicable manner.”
“In the case of Kuwait, we are confident that with our friendly relations and strong people-to-people links, we shall be able to find a mutually satisfactory solution that will take into account the need to provide maximum protection and access to justice for all our nationals working in the country,” it added.
Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), meanwhile, said it is working with DFA and the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait in a “unified, whole-of-government approach to the situation.”
The department also assured the public it is trying to mitigate the impact of the recent development, especially for affected Kuwait-bound Filipino workers.
“We shall continue to pursue the track of labor diplomacy in ensuring the welfare and safety of our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), while we await more details as to the rationale and issues surrounding the action of the Kuwait government,” DMW said in a separate statement.
Violations to labor deal
DFA Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega on Thursday told INQUIRER.net that Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior had cited the Philippines’ supposed failure to comply with the two countries’ labor agreement in its government’s decision to suspend the issuance of new visas to Filipinos.
“It could be the suspension of deployment for first-time workers or the fact that we are sheltering runaway workers,” he explained.
The suspension of Kuwait’s issuance of new entry visas for Philippine nationals came months after Manila imposed a ban on the deployment of first-time domestic helpers to the Gulf state.
DMW enforced the ban following the gruesome killing of overseas Filipino worker Jullebee Ranara, reportedly at the hands of her Kuwaiti employer.
The ban, according to DMW, will stay “until after significant reforms have been made resulting from upcoming bilateral talks with the said country.”