Following the implementation of the total deployment ban of Filipino workers to Kuwait, Philippine delegation led by Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III met its counterpart in Kuwait to discuss Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) welfare and protection.

The delegation’s grail is to craft a standard employment contract between the Philippines and Kuwait. Bello said “This has taken a long time that is provided under the memorandum of agreement that was signed in 2018. So hopefully, we can agree on this proposed harmonized contract.”

In response to the death of Filipina Joana Demafelis (another Filipina worker), the two countries had signed the memo in 2018. The standard contract aims to prevent abuse, with its provisions expected to include allowing household service workers to keep their passports and mobile phones, specifying their work and sleep hours, allowing at least one day off a week with pay, and disallowing their transfer to another employer without their written consent and written approval of the Philippine labor attaché.

The Kuwait Union of Domestic Labor Offices (KUDLO) led by its Chairman Khaled Al-Dahknan has invited the Foreign Recruitment Agencies (FRA) and Philippine Recruitment Agencies (PRA) Joint Meeting under the theme “Working Together Towards A Strengthened OFW Protection and Welfare.” Bello and his group were also invited.

Officers and members of Coalition of Licensed Agencies for Domestic and Service Workers (CLADS) led by its President Lucy Sermonia and Philippine Association of Agencies for Kuwait (PHILAAK) headed by its Chairperson Thelma Uanang were also in attendance

The Philippine delegation and the Philippine Embassy witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Business Agreement (MOBA) between the Foreign Recruitment Agencies and Philippine Recruitment Agencies.

Bello lauded the signing of the MOBA as good step towards strengthening the protection of Filipino workers in Kuwait.

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