Cairo: Kuwait and the Philippines have agreed on the return of Filipinos to work in the Gulf country in a sign of a breakthrough in a labour dispute, according to a Kuwaiti newspaper.
A meeting between a Philippine team now visiting Kuwait with their Kuwaiti counterparts was “positive and effective”.
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Both teams agreed to Filipinos’ return to employment in Kuwait’s domestic and private sectors, they said.
“An agreement was reached to overcome all previous negativities and to work seriously to solve any problem through a new mechanism accredited by both parties in line with the Kuwaiti law,” the sources told the newspaper.
As part of the agreement, all Filipino workers, who have escaped into the Philippine embassy in Kuwait, will be handed over to the Kuwaiti Public Authority of Manpower within 72 hours, the sources said.
Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Jose A. Cabrera III was quoted as saying that the officials will meet again on Wednesday and Thursday, and outcome of their talks will be announced by the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry.
In May, Kuwait announced suspending the issuance of all visas for Filipino workers in reaction to what it said Philippine authorities’ failure to comply with a labour agreement previously reached between the two countries.
Kuwait blamed the ban on what it called “wrong practices” made by the Philippine embassy and crimes committed by some members of the Filipino community against Kuwaitis.
However, Kuwait said it continues renewal for Filipinos holding valid residency permits, who want to keep working in the country.
In October, Kuwait’s Assistant Foreign Minister for Asia Affairs Sameeh Hayat cited efforts to defuse the row.