Yesterday, as the newly appointed ambassador of the Philippines, Jose Cabrera III, presented his credentials to His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmad in Manila, both countries took a significant step towards resolving the crisis involving Filipino domestic workers in Kuwait, reports Al-Jarida Daily.
In response to Kuwait’s requirements to reopen negotiations, Philippine authorities have initiated the evacuation of shelters housing approximately 450 domestic workers. These workers will be deported in successive batches back to their home country.
According to security sources familiar with the General Administration of Correctional Institutions, the Deportation Prison and Detainees Affairs Administration received around 230 female workers, who possessed passports and had been residing in the embassy’s shelter.
These workers were initially transferred to a shelter managed by the Public Authority for Manpower, where their residence status was verified and their passports were checked. The sources revealed that these 230 female workers constitute the first batch out of three, which will be transferred to the deportation prison in the coming days.
An informed source at the Philippine embassy confirmed that all the workers transferred from the shelter centers to the Talha prison for deportation are women. The source estimated the number of women to be over 400 and mentioned that the embassy, with the assistance of the Ministry of Interior and the Foreign Ministry in the Philippines, has covered the costs of airline tickets for their repatriation, amounting to approximately $400,000 (around 120,000 dinars). The source further explained that approximately 50 individuals will be deported daily, following the measures implemented by officials at Talha prison.
Bassam Al-Shammari, a specialist in domestic labor affairs, expressed his belief that this step will significantly contribute to resolving the current crisis and bridging the gap between the two countries on other outstanding issues. He emphasized that it may expedite the resolution of the current problem and open a new chapter, ensuring stability in the domestic labor market.
Security sources also revealed that the Deportation Prison and Detainee Affairs Administration will create a file for each worker, including their biometric data, before their deportation from the country. For workers who do not possess passports, coordination has been made between the deportation prison administration and the Philippine embassy to issue travel documents for them after their biometric information is recorded.
Al-Shammari called on the Ministry of Interior to expedite the deportation procedures without unnecessary obstacles. He stressed the need for the next phase to focus on establishing a new system for resolving disputes that guarantees swift settlement and safeguards the financial and legal rights of both workers and employers.
The embassy officials have also visited the deportees at Talha prison. It was revealed that approximately one million dinars were spent on deportation tickets for individuals leaving Kuwait over the past year.
These joint efforts by Kuwait and the Philippines demonstrate a commitment to resolving the crisis involving Filipino domestic workers, ensuring their safe return to their home country.