Duterte may push with Kuwait trip to witness labor deal signing
President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday he may visit Kuwait after it agreed to the conditions he set for the welfare of the Filipino domestic workers there.
In a speech in his meeting with the overseas Filipinos in Hong Kong, Duterte said if he would push with his trip to Kuwait, it would be short as he would just witness the signing of the labor agreement.
"I'm going to Kuwait maybe for the signing...and I have made so many demands before we sign the contract. And in fairness to the Kuwait government, they agreed," he said.
"I said, 'without these conditions,' I told (Labor Secretary Silvestre) Bebot Bello (III), 'we will just have to bite the bullet'," he added.
Duterte has imposed a total deployment ban of Filipino workers to Kuwait after the murder of a Filipina domestic helper whose remains were found inside a freezer in an abandoned apartment last February, about a year after she was reported missing.
"And I think that to give honor also to the Kuwaiti government, I will go there for the signing just to witness it. I'll just be fly in, fly out," Duterte said.
He said among the demands that he laid down in order to lift the deployment ban of OFWs to Kuwait include one day off with pay per week; that they be allowed to retain their passports; no confiscation of cellular phones; and that they be allowed to cook their own food.
He said all the conditions that he demanded should be included in the agreement that will be signed between the two countries. Celerina Monte/DMS