Some 20,000 skilled and semi-skilled Filipino workers are ready to be deployed to Kuwait, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
“So there are 20,000 expected po na made-deploy ngayon sa (to be deployed to) Kuwait na (who are) skilled and semi-skilled workers,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace briefing.
Roque’s statement comes after the Philippines and Kuwait signed on Friday a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on the protection of Filipino workers in the Gulf state.
However, he did not give further details about the exact date on when the 20,000 skilled and semi-skilled Filipino workers will travel to Kuwait.
Roque also said that the deployment ban on domestic workers may also be lifted “eventually.”
“Ang (The) ban on domestic workers eventually will be lifted. ‘Di ko lang po alam kung kailan at kung ano pa ‘yung mga repormang gagawin ng DOLE (I’m just not sure what reforms the Department of Labor and Employment needs to do),” he said.
Roque said that former labor secretary Marianito Roque will be making recommendations for Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III but it will be up to the latter to adopt them.
Marianito Roque currently acts as Bello’s consultant at the DOLE.
The MOA signed by the Philippines and Kuwait requires the creation of a joint committee, composed of officials from both governments, to meet regularly to address Filipino workers’ problems.
Moreover, the Kuwaiti government will be required to ensure that workers are provided with decent meals, housing, clothing, communication lines, 8 to 12 hours of sleep, and an eight-hour work schedule, among others.
The Kuwaiti government will also pursue legal action against employers who have records of contract violations or abuse of workers.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte earlier imposed a total deployment ban on new workers to Kuwait after the murder of domestic worker Joanna Demafelis, along with a series of abuses of other Filipino domestic workers. PNA