Palace: PH diplomats in Kuwait to be released in 2-3 days
The Filipino diplomats holed up in the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait are expected to be released within two to three days, Malacañang said on Thursday.
This developed as Philippine officials met with Kuwait’s Deputy Foreign Minister H.E. Al-Khaled Sulaiman Al-Jarallah, who assured visiting Filipino officials that the release of the Philippine diplomats is “now being worked out with the Interior Ministry.”
“The diplomats are expected to be released in two to three days,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.
The three Filipino diplomats were earlier ordered arrested by Kuwaiti authorities for kidnapping charges after the controversial rescue of abused Filipino housemaids in the Gulf state.
During their meeting, Roque said Minister Al-Sabeeh “discussed the formulation and possible amendment of a model employment contract for all domestic helpers from 91 countries, who are currently working in Kuwait.”
“Under the model contract, workers would enjoy the following: one day off, a 12-hour sleep or rest period, protection from physical abuse, and the right to a decent meal,” Roque said.
He noted that Minister Al-Sabeeh wanted Kuwait “to be known as a center for humanitarian concerns, adding that the mandate of the Emir of Kuwait is for all human beings in their country “to have a happy life.”
Minister Al-Sabeeh also announced the transfer of jurisdiction over domestic helpers from the Interior to the Labor Ministry.
Roque said this signifies “the government’s intention to subject domestic helpers to the same terms and conditions offered to skilled and semi-skilled workers.”
The palace official said Minister Al-Sabeeh “looks forward to the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement for OFW protection in Kuwait, which is expected to take place this Friday.”
Kuwait also assured the Philippines that the 500 undocumented OFWs would return home at Kuwait’s expense. /vvp
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