Philippines, Kuwait going through 'rocky period' - Cayetano


Posted at Feb 16 2018 12:52 PM

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MANILA - The Philippines and Kuwait are going through a "rocky" period in their relationship after deaths of Filipino workers in the hands of their Kuwaiti employers, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said Friday.

"We’re going through a very rocky period. We have had very, very good relations with them. In general, they love Filipinos,” he said, recalling the time when OFWs refused to leave Kuwait even after Iran’s invasion some 30 years ago.

"We’re going through a rocky period sa ating relationship, but I think there’s gonna be some firm commitments and some resolutions. This is having a cascading effect din sa ibang mga host countries," he told reporters.

"The relationship is important, but we have to communicate to them na core interest natin yung people natin, yung OFWs...They’re responding positively, but we want firm commitments and we want fast action," he said.

On President Rodrigo Duterte's orders, the Department of Labor and Employment enforced a total ban on the deployment of overseas Filipino workers to Kuwait.

Duterte had earlier warned of pulling Filipinos out of the Gulf state amid reports of deaths and abuses of OFWs.

Cayetano said some 10,000 Filipino workers in Kuwait have expressed desire to head home, and some 2,000 have so far enlisted in the repatriation program.