MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday evening met with Kuwaiti Ambassador to the Philippines Saleh Ahmad Althwaikh amid the issue involving the situation of Filipinos working in the Gulf state.
Duterte earlier ordered a suspension of deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait following the deaths of Filipinos there.
He had also said all Filipinos in Kuwait might as well go back home if another Philippine worker dies in the Gulf state.
Duterte said he might knock on China’s doors to accommodate displaced Filipino workers.
“One more incident about a woman, a Filipina being raped there, I’m going to stop, I’m going to ban,” Duterte said in a speech late last month.
“I’m sorry. The Filipinos there, you can all go home. Tutal kapag umalis kayong mga Filipino they will also be having a hell of a time adjusting there.”
Duterte said he does not want a quarrel with Kuwait, but he issued an appeal to the Kuwait and other Arab nations, which host a large number of Filipino workers, among them skilled and domestic workers, to ensure that OFWs there are treated humanely.
Duterte enjoys strong support from overseas Filipinos, winning in the overseas absentee voting in the 2016 polls.
More than 250,000 Filipinos work in Kuwait, the Philippine foreign ministry estimates, most of them as domestic helpers. There are also large numbers in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Remittances by overseas Filipinos amount to more than $2 billion a month, keeping domestic demand robust in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. - with Reuters