Filipina resident, worker respond to Duterte’s request for them to leave Kuwait

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A Filipina resident and another worker told Al Arabiya they have no intentions of leaving their lives and work in Kuwait a few days after their president called for a permanent ban of citizens from the Gulf country.

The Philippines and Kuwait have been embroiled in a row over what President Rodrigo Duterte said was a pattern of mistreatment of domestic workers by Kuwaiti employers.

Duterte at the weekend appealed to the "sense of patriotism" of overseas Filipino workers, known as OFWs, and asked them to return home, where he said they would get financial aid and job opportunities in other countries.

Speaking to Al Arabiya News Channel from Kuwait, long-time Filipina resident Mary Jean Pascua said she did not intend to heed her president’s call.

“I cannot simply leave Kuwait as I’ve been here for 15 years and I have set a target of staying for at least 20 more years because my future is all here. My daughter and family depend on me being and staying here because salaries and livelihoods back in the Philippines are not enough,” Pascua told Al Arabiya’s Sarah Dundarawy.

Earlier in the day, Al Arabiya spoke with Leenah, a domestic worker who has been living and working in Kuwait for nearly 27 years. She said that while she loved her country and president, she had no intention of leaving.

“I love the Philippines and I love my country and the president of the country. But I also love my job. I do not have problems, all is well,” she said.

“If you work well then they are no problems.”

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