Duterte lays down conditions for Philippines-Kuwait labor deal
President Rodrigo Duterte has laid down conditions for a labor agreement that the Philippines has been working with Kuwait.
In a speech during the 39th commencement exercises of the Philippine National Police Academy "Maragtas" Class of 2018 in Cavite, Duterte said he was late in the event because they worked on the final draft of the memorandum of understanding that Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III would bring to Kuwait.
"I added some requirements. For example, I demanded that it will be a contract of government-to- government and that there will be some mandatory provisions like they should be allowed to sleep at least seven hours a day," he said.
Duterte has banned the deployment of Filipino workers to Kuwait starting last month following the death of a Filipina housemaid who was found inside a freezer a year after she was reported missing.
Duterte said the draft also contains provisions that Filipino workers should be fed with nutritious food; that they should not eat leftovers and be allowed to cook their own food; and that there would be no confiscation of passports by the employers.
"And fifth is that they should be allowed holidays and everything," he said, stressing that the Filipinos are not slaves.
"Their only fault would be (they are) in your country because we are poor," he added.
The Department of Labor and Employment has recorded several cases of Filipinos who committed suicide in Kuwait after allegedly suffering abuses and maltreatment from their employers. Celerina Monte/DMS