Head of the Voluntary Committee to Study the Situation of the Domestic Workers Sector, Bassam Al-Shammari, revealed that Filipino domestic labor applications to Kuwait may remain at low levels for about a year, Al Rai daily reported.

Al-Shammari said that, before the emergence of the Coronavirus, the rate of daily requests from Kuwait reached 150, which has now decreased very significantly due to the present conditions, and other issues that are not being revealed by the Philippine authorities.

He underlined 5 factors that will affect the demand for domestic workers for a full year, which are as follows:

1- Precaution from the Philippine side: Since recruitment to the country has returned, the Philippine side is approaching the situation with caution by monitoring the changes that will occur while domestic workers are employed in Kuwait for a year. This, in order to evaluate the enforcement of the mechanisms and conditions set in contracts, the level of commitment to them, and the extent to the concerned authorities in the country, are protecting domestic workers, whether the government or offices who are responsible for maintaining the contracts and preserving the rights of workers.

The offices are tasked with preparing periodic reports every 3 months to assess the workers’ conditions they recruited, especially the commitment of sponsors to pay salaries and adhere to other contract clauses. This will encourage the Philippine side to increase the number of domestic workers sent to Kuwait until they are satisfied with the Kuwaiti side’s commitment to the agreement.

2- The demand from Kuwait itself has decreased due to the new conditions set for expatriates, as it has become mandatory for those who wish to recruit a Filipino domestic worker or domestic worker that the salary should be KD2500 dinars per month, not to mention the approval from their employer to recruit domestic workers.

3- Other markets: Filipino domestic workers started being recruited to the UAE about 3 months ago, which has a high demand for labor, thus leading to competition with the Kuwait market.

4- Cancellation of requests: Around 30 percent of recruitment requests in the Philippines have been cancelled, for every 50 workers, 15 applications are cancelled for health reasons or others at the present time.

5- Flights: Flight numbers between Kuwait and the Philippines is low, and does not meet the needs of the market. Another troublesome issue is that there are only two centers for examining domestic workers in the Philippines, but in the coming days, the number of coronavirus testing centers has increased to 5, as well as increasing the number of flights. This will help to improve the arrival rates of domestic workers to the country, who have been issued visas over the past three months, and waiting to start the entry process to Kuwait.

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