Press Release
May 12, 2018


Senator Sonny Angara has lauded the Duterte administration for its handling of the diplomatic row with Kuwait, and for securing the memorandum of agreement that aims to ensure better working conditions for Filipino workers in the Gulf state.

"We give credit to the administration for moving quickly to diffuse the tension so as to ensure the protection and welfare of our OFWs. We are hopeful that the signing of the MOA would really lead to better working conditions and more humane treatment of Filipinos in Kuwait to put an end to the cases of abuse," said Angara, vice chairman of the Senate labor committee.

Under the agreement, Kuwaiti employers shall provide the worker with food, housing and clothing, and register the worker in the state's health insurance system. The employer cannot confiscate the worker's passport, and workers should be allowed to keep and use their cell phones.

The Kuwaiti government will establish a mechanism for 24-hour assistance to Filipino domestic helpers, and will provide legal assistance concerning violations of the labor contract or existing laws on domestic workers. Employers who have records of contract violations or of abusing workers will be disqualified from recruiting Filipino domestic workers.

"The next step is to ensure that such agreement will be enforced. Dapat ay aktibo pa rin ang gobyerno sa pagbantay at pag-alalay sa mga OFW na nangangailangan ng tulong, hindi lamang sa Kuwait kundi pati na rin sa ibang bansa," said Angara, sponsor of the law strengthening the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

The lawmaker added that the government should help OFWs get into better types of jobs.

"Filipinos are known around the world for the quality of their service. Kapag may Pinoy sa kumpanya, talagang magaling, mahusay at maaasahan. The disappointment, however, is that some of our professionals end up working in lower grade types of jobs. We want to get them into better types of jobs--kung saan mas disente, mas malaki ang kita, at mas makatutulong umangat sa kanilang pamilya," Angara said.

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