MANILA — The Kuwaiti government can do more to ensure the welfare of Filipino workers in the Gulf state, a foreign affairs official said Tuesday.
"To the best of our knowledge, we have not seen that they are violating the agreement," Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Eduardo De Vega told ANC's "Headstart."
"What we think though is that perhaps they could do more to prevent these cases of runaway Filipinos."
Over 600 Filipinos have been repatriated from Kuwait amid the labor row. The repatriated workers include those with labor cases; some were overstaying or have no work permit.
De Vega considered it a "positive development".
"It's a positive development because those 600 or so, including 353 who flew just the past weekend, had been waiting for months and months," he said.
Kuwait has imposed an entry ban on Filipinos who do not have a residency permit.
Its government has demanded the Philippines to shut down shelters, which are housing migrant workers who escaped from their employers.
But Manila has stood firm on maintaining these shelters.
"We have explained to the Kuwaiti side that when we say 'shelter,' it is where Filipinos stay in the country while they are being processed and endorsed to the Kuwaiti government," Migrant Workers Undersecretary Hans Leo Cacdac has said in an interview.
"We can't call them 'fugitive workers' since they're distressed and experiencing problems with employers."
The two sides are expected to resume labor talks next month.