Duterte eyes Kuwait visit in August or September

MANILA -- President Rodrigo R. Duterte is looking at visiting Kuwait in August or September to personally thank its government for giving into his labor demands, MalacaAang said Tuesday.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that although there is no fixed date when the visit will take place, Duterte himself said that he has been repeating that he will go.

Moreover, Roque said that Duterte's visit will also be subject to the availability of the Emir.

It will be subject to the availability of the Emir and that is why we are looking at August or September this year, Roque said in a press briefing in Davao City.

Iyon po iyong (That's the) preliminary information on when the Emir will be available to receive the President, he added.

Early this month, Duterte announced his plan to visit Kuwait, following the successful signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) on the protection of overseas Filipino workers in the Gulf country.

His first official trip to the state was supposed to be in early May but was pushed back due to the two nations' diplomatic spat.

On February, Duterte ordered a total ban on deployment of Filipino workers in the Gulf state after the body of Filipina Joanna Daniella Demafelis was found inside a freezer in an abandoned apartment of her employers.

The Kuwaiti government also slammed the action taken by the staff of the Philippine embassy, who conducted rescue operations for distressed Filipino workers in the said country.

With the help of the Kuwaiti government, Demafalis' employers, Labanese Nader Essam Assaf and his wife, Mona Hassoun of Syria, were arrested and detained in their respective countries.

The issue was resolved last month, when the MOA was signed with all Philippine conditions granted.

Under the MOA, the Kuwait government will be required to ensure that Filipino workers are provided with decent meals, housing, clothing, communication lines, 8 to 12 hours of sleep, an eight-hour work schedule, among others.

Moreover, the employer is also prohibited to confiscate OFW' passports and other personal identification, including cellphones and other means of communication.

The Kuwaiti government will also pursue legal action against employers who have records of contract violations or abuse of workers. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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