Filipino expat workers told Al Arabiya that they are vowing to stay in Kuwait despite a ban request from their president because they say there are no job alternatives back in their home country.
The Philippines on Tuesday welcomed an olive branch from Kuwait over their migrant labor row, days after President Rodrigo Duterte announced a permanent ban on Filipino workers going to the Gulf state.
The dispute, simmering for months, erupted last week when Kuwait expelled the Philippine ambassador over videos of embassy staff helping Filipino workers flee allegedly abusive bosses in Kuwait.
But the Kuwaitis sought to calm the crisis after Duterte said on Sunday that he was making permanent the departure ban in place since February, when a murdered Filipina maid was found in her employer’s freezer.
Kuwait’s Deputy Foreign Minister Nasser al-Subaih said on Monday the row was “largely a misunderstanding” and “we do not believe in escalation”.
Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano welcomed that conciliatory message on Tuesday.
“This gesture on the part of Kuwait, a country with which we have a shared history and strong people-to-people ties, will allow us to move forward,” Cayetano said in a statement.
“We affirm our friendship with the government of Kuwait and its people. The strength of that friendship will withstand this misunderstanding,” he added.
Around 262,000 Filipinos work in Kuwait, nearly 60 percent of them domestic workers, according to the Philippine foreign ministry.
Duterte previously said workers returning from Kuwait could find employment as English teachers in China, citing improved ties with Beijing.
The Philippines has sent millions of its people to work abroad, seeking salaries they cannot get in their relatively impoverished nation.
The money they send back home accounts for about 10 percent of the Philippine economy.
Philippines seeks to end ‘misunderstandings’ with Kuwait on workersThe Philippines on Tuesday welcomed an olive branch from Kuwait over their migrant labor row, days after President Rodrigo Duterte announced a ... Gulf
Filipina resident, worker respond to Duterte’s request for them to leave KuwaitA 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 ... Gulf